Congressional Republicans should work vigorously to defund Obamacare in the upcoming budget negotiations "because nobody really wants it," Club for Growth President Chris Chocola tells Newsmax TV.
"Every single Republican in Congress, House and Senate, all ran on defunding or repealing Obamacare or both," Chocola tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. "The American people, over 50 percent, have never supported Obamacare. The unions have come out against Obamacare. The president has said it's not time to implement it. The IRS has created an atmosphere where no one trusts it to enforce it."
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"It seems like a logical thing to do," Chocola said. "Let's defund it. Let's stop it, because nobody really wants it."
The Club for Growth is a fiscally conservative political organization that supports an agenda of low taxes and limited government. Chocola became president of the Washington-based group in 2009. Before that, he served two terms as a U.S. congressman from Indiana.
GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah are seeking to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act through the continuing resolution process that would finance the federal government on Oct. 1, when the new fiscal year begins.
Top Republican leaders and some senior GOP members, however, have been reluctant to support the effort, fearing a potential voter backlash if their stand against Obamacare leads to a government shutdown.
"It doesn't sound all that risky to me," Chocola tells Newsmax, referring to a possible government shutdown.
He points to such critics of the move as Republican strategist Karl Rove and conservative activist Grover Norquist, noting how Republicans were accused of closing down the government for 28 days in 1995 and 1996, but maintained control of the House and picked up several Senate seats in elections in the latter year.
"They got welfare reform, and they got a balanced budget," Chocola says.
"I went to negotiation school and the only things I remember are: 'Don't cave in before you show up, and don't show up if you're not willing to walk away.' If they say there's no way we can win this fight — and we'll just blame ourselves if we do it — that's a self-fulfilling prophecy that's hard to overcome.
"Most of Americans are on [GOP legislators'] side, and it's unfortunate they don't get ahead of the message," he adds. "All we're trying to do is get Republicans to simply do what they said they're for. They asked to be elected and to have control of the House, because they said they were against Obamacare and that they would seize every opportunity to get rid of it.
"This is the opportunity, and we just think they ought to do what they said they would do."
In the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas are backing a resolution that would finance the government into December, pairing it with legislation that would force the Senate to take a separate vote on defunding Obamacare.
Chocola calls the bill "legislative deception."
"It's running and ducking for cover. Every Republican member of the House would vote for this continuing resolution to defund Obamacare knowing that what it in fact does is result in a clean continuing resolution that funds Obamacare," he tells Newsmax. "That's part of the problem of the Republicans: They think that they can engage in trickery and that's living up to their commitments."
The Club for Growth will be scoring legislators on their Obamacare votes, Chocola says.
"We'll likely score the vote. We don't let any single vote dictate our actions. We look at the totality of their careers and a pattern of behavior, and this will be a vote that goes into our scorecard that will result in a total score.
"We like to see people have high scores, which means they consistently support a pro-economic growth agenda," Chocola adds. "This will be part of that, but will not be all of that."
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