Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Healthcare Reform | kingston | obamacare | barroom | fight

Rep. Kingston: Obamacare Battle a 'Barroom Fight'

Monday, 30 Sep 2013 05:18 PM

By Bill Hoffmann


The eleventh-hour battle between the House and Senate over Obamacare is a "barroom fight" necessary to try to save the nation from President Barack Obama's prohibitively expensive health care law, Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia says.

"People kind of realize we’re in a barroom fight, if you will, and that there's collateral damage politically and otherwise," Kingston, a Republican, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"But the reality is if we cannot get Obamacare back on the table, it's $1.7 trillion in spending on top of a national debt that's already 100 percent of the GDP. If not now, when?"

Kingston said he is not convinced that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is "100 percent committed" to keeping the government open.

"There is a political cynicism among some that say, hey, if my party's going to be the perceived winner on public opinion through a shutdown, then let's shut it down and pick up whatever political goodwill we can from it and blame it on the other guys," he said.

"That's part of today's calculus and I don't like to say that, but its part of the thinking that goes on."

Still, he added, "I would say that the majority of people want to keep the government open in both parties."

Kingston pointed to other years in which the government was shuttered — and rebounded a few days later after negotiations resumed.

"So, in the event that we could not agree with the Senate on something tonight, they adjourn and don't worry about things, you can always come back in a day or two and change this," he said.

"Not a great way to do business, but it would not be the end of the world if you couldn't get it done by midnight … In 1990, there was a three-day shutdown. In 1987, there was a one-day shutdown. So this is not political unknown territory."

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