[Rushtalk] The Senate GOP Won't Shut Down The government over socialized medicine

Carl Spitzer cwsiv at keepandbeararms.com
Thu Aug 29 07:38:58 MDT 2013

The Senate GOP Won'tShut Down The Government Over Obamacare

Business InsiderBy Josh Barro | Business Insider –  18 minutes ago
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ted cruz mike lee


Right to left: Republican Sens. Roy Blunt (Mo.), Mike Lee (Utah), and
Ted Cruz (Tex.)

Byron York has a good post at the Washington Examiner pouring cold water
on the idea that Senate Republicans will shut down the federal
government in order to force the defunding of Obamacare implementation.

The idea, from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is that Republicans should refuse
to vote for any continuing resolution—that's the appropriation bill that
Congress will have to pass to keep the government open past Sept. 30—if
it contains money to implement the health care law.

Lee's strategy won't work because the CR is must-pass legislation. If
Republicans tie an Obamacare-defunding demand to it, no bill will pass,
and they'll get blamed forshutting down the government, which will be

Eventually, they'll cave, the government will reopen, the health law
will still be implemented, and the Republicans will suffer political
damage. It's a strategy that's just asking for pain.

Lee and his colleagues understand this. York got a quote from an
anonymous Republican Senate aide explaining why various Tea Party
senators want to pursue the strategy even though they know it's doomed:

"We have to try," says the Senate aide. "Having this fight will show the
people who sent us here that we are a party of principle. And after we
lose this fight, all of our guys are going to have an issue that we can
run on and win."

The key phrase in this quote is "all of our guys." Which guys is he
referring to?

A government shutdown wouldn't endear Senate Republicans to the public
as awhole. That's why Republican  senators like Tom Coburn (Okla.) and
John Cornyn (Tex.) are  publicly dissing  the Lee strategy.

But it would give Tea Party senators like Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz
(Tex.) big, public opportunities to "stand up to Obamacare" and improve
their standing with the sort of very conservative voters who have a lot
of influence in the Iowa caucuses.  A government shutdown as a Hail Mary
against Obamacare might be thesort of thing Cruz could run on and win

It's a good example ofthe diverging incentives facing individual
Republican officials and the party as a whole. Individual senators can
benefit by picking fights that makeit harder for the party to build a
majority electoral coalition. But in this instance, most senators seem
to realize that would be a mistake.

It won't be that hard to get a CR through the Senate. The more difficult
question will be the House, where individual members are more
conservative andrepresent districts where they can more easily disregard
broad public opinion.

But last time House Republicans had the opportunity to force a
government shutdown, in March, they got gun-shy, realizing that the
shutdownfights of 1995-6 under Speaker Newt Gingrich did not play out
well for Republicans.

Boehner may have to break the "Hastert Rule" to pass the CR: That is,
he'll let it come to a vote and pass mostly with Democratic support. But
far from angering his caucus, he will be giving them exactly what they
want. They will be able to avoid a government shutdown fightwithout ever
having to vote to fund Obamacare.

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