U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert tells Newsmax TV he will not support a Republican proposal to end the fiscal stalemate in Washington that does not include provisions affecting Obamacare, because the healthcare law "didn't treat people equally and fairly."
"I am not going to be able to vote for the plan, because it didn't treat people equally and fairly across the country and continued to favor some over others," the Texas Republican says in an exclusive interview. "That's not the American way."
"People have lost their insurance," Gohmert says. "They wanted to keep it. They've lost their doctors that they wanted to keep — and there are things that we should do to make it fair."
The House is expected to vote
Tuesday night on legislation proposed by Speaker John Boehner to reopen the federal government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority until Feb. 7.
The bill also would force members of Congress, the president, vice president and Cabinet to receive their health coverage through Obamacare's health exchanges, eliminating any employer contribution or subsidy and thereby overturning an existing exemption in the law.
But the Boehner proposal drops a two-year delay of the planned 2.3 percent tax on medical devices that helps to finance Obamacare. It also makes no mention of a longstanding GOP demand that the individual mandate for Obamacare be delayed by one year.
"So much is unfair about it," Gohmert says about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. "It's a disastrous bill, so anything that we can do to level the playing field, we ought to be doing."
President Barack Obama has already indicated he would oppose the proposed Boehner legislation.
Meanwhile, the government shutdown was in its 15th day on Tuesday, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said the nation would reach its borrowing limit on Thursday.
In his Newsmax interview, Gohmert slammed Obama's continued refusal to negotiate with Republicans to end the stalemate.
"It's because he knew from the beginning the mainstream media would blame Republicans 100 percent," he says. "It was only the Republicans in the House that offered an initial deal, offered a second deal — and then offered a third deal. He wouldn't even support that."
"Why?" Gohmert asks. "Because he believed, as the conventional wisdom has been in Washington since January of 2011, that if there's ever a shutdown, Republicans will be blamed — and, therefore, we'll get back the House the following year."
While "there should never, ever be a default on American indebtedness," the congressman tells Newsmax that any legislation to extend the debt ceiling should include reforms to address the nation's financial mismanagement.
"If you put the right things on the debt-ceiling increase that would get us on the right track, then there are conservatives that could agree but, for some reason, our leadership was originally thinking, 'Let's just kick the proverbial can down the road a little further — and then, when we get there, we can kick it further,'" Gohmert says. "We've been doing that for the last three years, and it's time we dealt with our problems."
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