- - Monday, September 23, 2013

Here’s looking at you, Harry Reid. In the final days leading up to the expiration date for America’s “temporary budget,” the House of Representatives passed a continuing resolution that will fund all parts of the government at sequestration levels through Dec. 15. It just won’t fund Obamacare.

The Republicans’ position is reasonable. If the health care law isn’t ready to be implemented in full, the American people should not be paying for it. No Republican is calling for a government shutdown, because that doesn’t defund Obamacare. We are demanding an Obamacare shutdown. You can fund the government without funding Obamacare, and after thousands of calls from constituents nationwide and a tumultuous August town hall recess, the House has found a way to do exactly that.

One has to wonder why Mr. Reid, the Senate majority leader, and the Senate Democrats so vehemently defend a law that has been a revolving door of procedural failures and harmful unintended consequences.

To date, there have been more than 20 delays, exemptions and revisions to Obamacare, including a delay of the employer mandate for businesses. Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, one of the law’s primary architects, predicted that implementation of the 2,000-plus page law would prove a “train wreck.”

Obamacare disproportionately burdens the most vulnerable among us. Young Americans will pay higher costs to subsidize the older and wealthier. According to Investor’s Business Daily, four different industries have cut their workweeks below 30 hours since Obamacare was signed into law, harming low-income hourly-wage earners the most.

Public discontent for the law continues to grow. A recent FreedomWorks national poll found that an overwhelming 82 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents favor a continuing resolution that “does not include funding for Obamacare.”

Only 17 percent of all voters think Obamacare will have positive personal impact, a new low point since the law was passed in March 2010. Sixty-two percent of all voters prefer a “patient-centered” health care system that allows for competition and choice. The people have spoken, and members of Congress are beholden to their constituents — not the other way around.

Then why would Mr. Reid refuse to compromise, and instead strip the defunding language from the continuing resolution and hold the government hostage?

President Obama has been nothing if not disappointing for the Democrats. Something was supposed to have changed with Mr. Obama’s election. Things were supposed to be different. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention’s keynote address, then-Illinois state Sen. Obama told Americans “there is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is a United States of America.” With a straight face he vowed, “we are one people.”

In hindsight, the president predicted his own legacy’s demise. Ironically, he has managed to unite a nation in opposition to an unpopular, ineffectual and unconstitutional agenda.

Americans on all parts of the political spectrum shook their heads as they watched the White House remain a revolving door of lobbyists and special-interest groups. Disappointment ensued when top Obama officials cashed in to join corporations such as BP, which they once demonized in the media, while the White House filled its job openings with former Goldman Sachs employees.

Only this administration could unite organizations as ideologically diverse as FreedomWorks and MoveOn.org as American troops rotate overseas to fight expensive wars, and the president threatens additional military action in Syria.

The Teamsters and Young Americans for Liberty stand together in opposition to Obamacare. Even AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka admitted this year that “we made some mistakes” in writing Obamacare, and did not expect to see employers reduce work hours to avoid some of the law’s penalties.

I’ve actually stood shoulder-to-unlikely-shoulder at press conferences between Rep. Louie Gohmert and ACLU leadership to resist Mr. Obama’s sweeping surveillance state.

It wasn’t supposed to work out this way for the Democrats. Mr. Reid wasn’t supposed to lead a majority that’s been unable to pass a real budget for two congressional terms. The president’s budget was so bad, it received zero votes in 2011. Not zero Republican votes; no votes, period.

My advice to House and Senate Republicans? Stick to your guns. Stand by the continuing resolution passed by the House that will fund all parts of the government without funding the broken health care law, and do it without any strings attached. Then go home, and turn on the news and watch the Chicken Littles on the left tell us the sky is falling.

The House Republicans did their job. It’s Mr. Reid’s turn to make a choice. Pass the House’s continuing resolution, or explain to the American people why preserving the last vestiges of the president’s legacy is more important than funding the basic functions of government.

Matt Kibbe is the president and CEO of FreedomWorks and author of “Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America” (William Morrow, 2012).

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide