Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) believes the only way to get rid of the conservative-despised Obamacare is to threaten a government funding shutdown and he went on the talk show circuit this Monday and Tuesday to make his case, according to The Hill.
Cruz has been on the war path for weeks to criticize everything about the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA), President Obama and even members of his own party. He chided the House for having a gazillion votes to repeal Obamacare against any odds that it would actually happen, calling the charade “empty” and “symbolic”.
Make no mistake, Cruz, the swaggering freshman Senator from Texas, who has already made a name for himself as a fearless flamethrower, wants to overturn Obamacare, but he claims the only way to get it done is to threaten a government shutdown in an attempt to force President Obama into defunding the healthcare law.
Cruz has been a guest on the Glenn Beck show to tout his idea and at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday, Cruz spoke of his plan, which includes support from Tea Party favorites Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL.) and Sen Mike Lee (R-Utah), to block any funding bill that may include money for Obamacare. Then, if the president doesn’t throw out the law by September, they can blame him for the shutdown.
However, many established Republicans, including Tom Coburn (R-OK.) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), think it’s a “silly effort” and a futile idea that would further damage the Republican image, since current polls already show they are less popular than head lice.
Cruz downplayed the GOP price paid after shutting down the government in 1995:
“The world didn’t end. Planes didn’t fall out of the sky. Social Security checks didn’t stop. Military paychecks didn’t stop. We didn’t default on our national debt. … What happened was non-essential government services were temporarily suspended. That happens every single week on the weekend. The world doesn’t end,” Cruz was quoted in The Hill.
But Coburn refutes Cruz’s opinion, which takes in only cost and none of the savings, that using the government shutdown as a threat to defund Obamacare would actually be the program’s demise.
Coburn has been sharply critical of the Cruz plan, calling it misleading to conservatives, and cited the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report in pertaining to Cruz’s fixation on shutting the government down over Obamacare funding. The report gives no substantiation to Cruz’s plan, since “much of the administration’s implementation funding comes from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) itself — not from the spending bills some conservatives are threatening to defeat.”
“The memo reveals that if government were shut down, funding for Obamacare would still continue,” Coburn’s office said in a summary. “In other words, shutting down the federal government does not shut down Obamacare.”
Cruz, who has a law degree and claims the “honor” of having argued a case before the Supreme Court for 30 minutes, in which he lost 0-9, doesn’t seem fazed by objections from other Republicans or the fact that Obama himself was a constitutional law professor at Harvard.
“We have a fight we can win,” claimed Cruz on CNN’s Jake Tapper show. “If Obamacare isn’t working, this is our single best opportunity to defund it in the next 63 days [before the continuing resolution expires].”
But sources say many of the best parts of Obamacare, which aims to change the focus of US healthcare from a diagnostic-driven system to a preventative system won’t start kicking in until next year, so how can Cruz characterize Obamacare as a plan that “isn’t working”? The employer mandate was delayed for a year due to criticism over reporting complexity, which thrilled Republicans at first, but some, like Cruz, have seized upon the delay as proof that Obamacare is a “train wreck”.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have stayed non-committal on Cruz’s Tea Party plan to shut down the government in their effort to block Obamacare.
Ted Cruz, recently called a “school yard bully,” by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) during the filibuster fight, has criticized Republican members of the House for holding multiple “fig-leaf” votes to repeal Obamacare for the purpose of going home to tell their constituents they have “accomplished” something.
Critics say Cruz, who fancies himself a new omnipotent breed of Republican and has his eye on a potential presidential run in 2016, may be doing the same pointless grandstanding he accuses his colleagues of doing to score points at home.
However, it’s been said that conservative perception is conservative reality, so true or false doesn’t really matter in Cruz’s world, only what he can get people to believe.