Sep 20, 2013

VOTE ALERT: House Republicans Vote to Shut Down Government to Pad Health Insurance Company Profits

Moments ago, House Republicans voted to give in to Tea Party demands and shut down the U.S. government, all so that they could take away critical patient protections and give insurance companies free rein to raise health care costs.

The conservative Wall Street Journal Editorial Board compared the vote to “threaten(ing) to crash their Zeros into the aircraft carrier of ObamaCare” and a “kamikaze mission” that “rarely turns out well, least of all for the pilots.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce criticized the plan and Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush, wrote that this strategy is an “ill-conceived tactic” and “means we’ll get” a government shutdown.

“House Republicans just voted to go all-in on the Tea Party’s kamikaze mission -- voting to shut down the U.S. government unless their demand to give insurance companies free rein over health care is met,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “With this vote, House Republicans just told Americans that they will shut down the government if they can’t make insurance companies richer by giving them free rein to raise rates and take away protections that keep families from getting sick.”

Background

Congressman Benishek Voted to For Extreme House Republican Plan That Would “Likely Result” In a Government Shutdown. In 2013, Congressman Benishek voted for the extreme House Republican Continuing Resolution that the Associated Press reported would “likely result” in the shutdown of the federal government. According to the New York Times: “After three years of cajoling, finessing and occasionally strong-arming his fitful conservative majority, Speaker John A. Boehner waved the white flag on Wednesday, surrendering to demands from his right flank that he tie money to keep the government open after Sept. 30 to stripping President Obama’s health care law of any financing. […] The House’s stopgap spending measure would finance the government through Dec. 15 at the current spending levels, which reflect the automatic spending cuts that took effect in March, known as sequestration, while blocking the health care law, under which the uninsured will be enrolled beginning on Oct. 1.” [HJ RES. 59, Vote #478, 9/20/13; Associated Press, 8/23/13; New York Times, 9/18/13]

Karl Rove: The House Republican “Approach [to the Continuing Resolution] Means We’ll Get [A Government Shutdown].” Former Bush Advisor Karl Rove wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “There is, however, one issue on which independents disagree with Republicans: using the threat of a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare. […] Even the defund strategy's authors say they don't want a government shutdown. But their approach means we'll get one. […]  It is an ill-conceived tactic, and Republicans should reject it.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/19/13]

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: House Republicans are “Creating a Crisis” That’s “Counterproductive.” “The powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday urged Congress not to play with fire by risking a government shutdown or debt ceiling-caused default. In a letter to members, the big business organization took direct aim at House Republican plans announced earlier Wednesday to use an Oct. 1 shutdown deadline and mid-October default deadline to try to stop the implementation of ObamaCare. […] While the Chamber said it agrees that the Affordable Care Act has problems and that entitlement spending needs to be addressed, the group said creating a crisis to force action on those issues is counterproductive.” [The Hill, 9/18/13]

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Likened House Republicans’ Crusade to Defund Obamacare a “Kamikaze Mission” That “Rarely Turns out Well for the Pilots.” The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board compared this kind of plan to “threaten(ing) to crash their Zeros into the aircraft carrier of ObamaCare” and a “Kamikaze mission” that “rarely turns out well, least of all for the pilots.” Beyond the politics, the Journal wrote, “[t]his all-or-nothing posture also usually results in worse policy.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/16/13]


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