With implementation of Obamacare only months away, Republican members of the House and Senate on Thursday joined with national conservative leaders to announce an all-out effort to stop the healthcare measure from being funded.
Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Flordia, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol called for keeping Obamacare funding out of the Continuing Resolution (CR) that will be needed to run the government starting Oct. 1, when the new fiscal year begins.
Cruz said when the administration "grants a waiver to giant corporations" for a year before implementing Obamacare and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus calls Obamacare "a train wreck," "then this is a tacit admission that it's broken."
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Cruz emphasized the timing of the CR budget battle and the fight to keep Obamacare funding out of it, saying "this is where the rubber meets the road, in the next 60 days."
Cruz said if efforts are just concentrated in Congress, then Obamacare opponents will surely lose. "Success depends upon hundreds of millions of Americans standing up and demanding this," he said.
Weighing in with the senators were Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana -- the first House member to publicly vow not to vote for the CR if it included Obamacare funding -- and fellow Republican Reps. James Bridenstine of Oklahoma and Louie Gohmert of Texas.
Also attending were the organizers of the event, ForAmerica Chairman L. Brent Bozell and Tea Party Patriots National Chairman Jenny Beth Martin.
"This is the last chance to stop this monstrosity," Bozell told reporters, citing polls showing voter opposition to Obamacare as high as it was when the measure was enacted in 2010 and vowing political retribution in no-uncertain-terms.
Referring to lawmakers who stand by the measure in the election year of 2014, Bozell said: "If you fund Obamacare, you own it."
In contrast, House members and senators who support keeping Obamacare funding out of the CR will, in Bozell's words, "return home a hero."
Along with Bozell's ForAmerica grassroots organization, which claims more than 3.5 million members, and the Tea Party Patriots, other groups represented included Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, Heritage Action, Citizens United, and Family Research Council Action.
To a person, the Republican lawmakers who were at the press conference voiced confidence in both the timing of their latest strike against Obamacare and use of the CR as the defunding mechanism.
"The House will insist on a CR [without Obamacare] and [Senate Democratic Leader] Harry Reid will say the mean, nasty Republicans are threatening to shut down the government," said Cruz. "And we don't have the votes in the Senate."
On repeated occasions, President Barack Obama has made it clear that he will not sign a budget without funding for Obamacare and that the idea of a CR without funding for the measure was "outrageous."
But as the implementation draws closer, even the president's supporters were expressing outrage over some of its provisions.
"He's under pressure from his own base," Rubio told Newsmax. "When [President James] Hoffa of the Teamsters says Obamacare implementation will 'destroy the 40-hour work week' and the union for the IRS employees is exempt from the law they are supposed to be in charge of, you know it's having an impact."
Rubio said even "the president admitted [Obamacare] is failing when he was on Capitol Hill yesterday."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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