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Healthcare Politics

Dems Threaten to Shut Down the Government Over GOP Obamacare Repeal Effort

Written by Philip Hodges

The Democrats are saying they’re prepared to ‘shut down’ the government if the GOP insists on trying to repeal and replace Obamacare this week.

We’ve been through a dreaded government ‘shutdown’ before. I wish they happened all the time. Like constantly, and all year long. “But the government wouldn’t get anything done!” Exactly.

America would survive. In fact, for the first time in a long time, the nation would thrive.

Yes, there is a place for certain things at the federal level. There are 21 powers listed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. Outside those powers, there’s nothing else. If we followed the Constitution, our government would be very small. And as a result, we’d be a freer people.

At any rate, the Democrats are using the Obamacare repeal and replace issue to threaten a government ‘shutdown,’ and it looks like the GOP will wait until next week after the funding bill is passed to do anything with Obamacare.

Politico reported:

Democrats are pushing a short-term government funding extension to the brink, renewing talk of a possible shutdown if lawmakers can’t reach an agreement by Friday. 

After House Democratic leaders vowed to withhold support for a short-term funding bill if Republicans plow ahead with a vote to repeal Obamacare this week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday night objected to a deal that would unanimously approve a one-week stopgap that’s expected to clear the House on Friday.

Schumer raised last-minute objections “because we still have to resolve the issue of poison-pill riders” before they pass the one-week funding bill, he said on the floor. The New York Democrat added that “we are indeed making great progress.” 

Democrats declined to elaborate on the nature of the policy restrictions holding up an agreement. But aides said that an agreement to keep the government open until the new fiscal year starts in October is well within reach, suggesting that the last-minute objections are likely to be resolved on Friday.

The GOP’s planned Obamacare repeal still cast a shadow over the funding debate, however, after House Democrats threatened to oppose a short-term bill if Republicans pressed for a health care vote this week.

“If Republicans pursue this partisan path of forcing Americans to pay more for less and destabilizing our county’s health care system — without even knowing how much their bill will cost — Republicans should be prepared to pass a one-week [funding extension] on their own,” House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said in a statement.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered the news in a phone call to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday morning. Hoyer had a similar conversation with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. 

“They are in a lose, lose, lose situation,” Pelosi said about Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare. “The minute they cast that vote they put doo-doo on their shoe, tattoo on their forehead.”

Republican leaders still haven’t made a decision about whether to bring the Obamacare repeal to the floor this week. But privately, senior GOP sources say a vote is more likely next week. 

The Rules Committee, which controls floor debate, will meet Thursday afternoon but it’s unclear what’s on the panel’s agenda. 

Ryan dismissed Democrats’ threats, saying he’s confident the government won’t shut down.

“The reason this government funding bill is not ready is because Democrats have been dragging their feet,” the Wisconsin Republican told reporters. “I’m confident we’ll be able to pass a short-term extension.”

A Democratic leadership aide said Democrats are still open to supporting a short-term extension if the overall budget talks are “headed in a good direction and we just need time to do the paperwork etc.” 

“But that cooperation is greatly impeded if Republicans attempt to use a [the one-week extension] to jam the Trumpcare bill through the House,” the aide added. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that while he agreed with House Democrats on the importance of keeping the government funded before “rushing through” an Obamacare repeal, he was not yet prepared to ask his caucus to adopt the same strategy. “We’re not up to that yet,” he told reporters.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


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Philip Hodges

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