A conservative advocacy group plans to spend $550,000 on an advertising campaign urging Republicans to defund Obamacare -- and is pressing the message at a series of town halls.
Heritage Action, the advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation, said the online blitz will target 100 House Republicans who haven't signed on to a letter from Republican North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows urging leadership to defund the new health care law, The Hill
Meadows' letter doesn't expressly say Republicans should be willing to shut down the federal government over the contentious Affordable Care Act -- though some conservatives support just that.
The strategy, however, is losing steam because of resistance from senior Republicans.
“The American people may have been locked out of the legislative process that gave us Obamacare, but they will be the force behind stopping this unworkable, unaffordable law," Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said in a statement. "Congress should seize the moment and defund the entire law."
Heritage Action insists voters can “make all the difference” by airing their grievances at town halls. The events will kick off in Fayetteville, Ark., and cover nine cities in 11 days, the Washington Times
“The need to defund Obamacare is resonating,” Heritage spokesman Dan Holler told the paper.
Advocates and conservative allies such as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida face a chorus of senior Republicans who support dismantling the Affordable Care Act, but oppose threats to shut down the government when Congress reconvenes Sept. 9 to work on a deal to fund federal operations past Sept. 30.
Heritage Action is betting popular support in lawmakers’ home districts will force House Republicans to act when they go back to Washington -- and that the parties' desire to strike a deal will pressure the Democratic-controlled Senate to scale back its support for Obamacare.
The town halls will be hosted by Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint, a former Republican senator from South Carolina, and Needham.
After Arkansas, the tour will hit Dallas; Tampa, Fla.; Nashville, Tenn.; Birmingham, Ala.; Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Pittsburgh before wrapping up Aug. 29 in Wilmington, Del.
“What you won’t hear from these extreme partisans is that if they had their way, thousands of young adults in [Arkansas] and across the country would be forced off their parents’ plans, parents of children born with pre-existing conditions would once again worry about reaching a lifetime cap or getting any coverage at all, and seniors would be left paying thousands more for their prescription drugs,” pro-healthcare law advocates said in a statement from Americans United for Change.
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