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Boehner’s burden: ObamaCare
The Hill ^ | 08/02/13 05:45 AM ET | By Russell Berman and Molly K. Hooper

Posted on 08/02/2013 3:37:12 AM PDT by onyx

For Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Obamacare is the predicament that won’t go away.

The Speaker is leading a House Republican conference that wants to dismantle President Obama’s signature, contentious achievement by any means necessary but can’t quite agree on the best way to kill it.

Months after proclaiming ObamaCare the “law of the land,” the Speaker is trying to sell the House GOP on a series of “targeted strikes” against the healthcare overhaul, rather than a defunding effort that senior Republicans worry will backfire. The latest missile will be launched Friday, when the House will vote on a measure to bar the IRS from enforcing the law and collecting revenue to pay for it.

Boehner and his allies want to head off an effort by conservatives to demand that the healthcare law be defunded in a stopgap spending measure that Congress must pass to avert a government shutdown at the end of September.

Several senators and House members joined a Tea Party press conference on Thursday in support of the effort, where Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said defunding the law in September was the “last, best chance” that Republicans would have to stop it from fully taking effect.

The Speaker privately opposes the strategy, but he has yet to rule it out and wants to let his conference determine the way forward over the August recess. He said on Thursday that no decisions had been made on how to construct the stopgap bill, known as a continuing resolution (CR).

The healthcare law is one in long line of issues on which Boehner has had to navigate between hardline conservatives who want to fight and the political reality of a Democratic president and a Democratic-led Senate who have made clear they will not yield.

Yet the current debate is a far cry from the immediate aftermath of the November election, when Boehner seemed to signal a willingness to move on from a law that had been upheld by the Supreme Court and resealed by the election of Obama to a second term.

After Republican leaders could not pass a bill this spring that tried to fix but not wholly repeal part of the law, Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) scheduled a full repeal vote on the floor, explaining that new GOP members wanted the opportunity to fulfill a campaign pledge to their constituents.

The strategy shifted again last month after the Obama administration announced a one-year delay of the law’s employer mandate. Boehner seized on the move to argue that the White House was giving a break to businesses but not to individuals by delaying only one of the two major mandates. He and Cantor quickly scheduled votes to delay both the employer and individual mandates, and they cheered when more than 20 Democrats voted for each bill.

“We should view the delay votes this month as the opening salvo in a series of well-placed, targeted strikes that will ultimately dissolve the Obamacare coalition and topple this train wreck of a law,” Boehner told House Republicans in a closed-door meeting this week.

So far, a groundswell in favor of drawing a line in the sand over healthcare has yet to emerge. In interviews, several members cited a finding by the Congressional Research Service that because the healthcare law’s funding comes from mandatory spending, a continuing resolution wouldn’t stop it entirely.

“The difficulty I have with that is everyone that says if you do defund Obamacare in a CR that’s going to solve Obamacare and it takes it out. That’s factually not true,” said Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. “The law still stands. Nothing has changed about that.”

Lawmakers are also wary of rooting for a government shutdown.

“I do not want to see the government shut down,” freshman Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) said. “Obamacare will still be funded even if the government shuts down, so I don’t understand in the big scheme of things what the plan is.”

“We have soldiers that need to get paid, Social Security checks that need to be issued and Medicare,” he added. “And I don’t want to see any of that threatened.”

People close to Boehner say he is unfazed by the pressure over healthcare, staying true to his generally unflappable nature.

“He doesn't seem to be bending under the pressure or anything, he seems pretty cool, calm and collected to me,” Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) said. “There's always some battle when you are the Speaker, it's a tough job.”

A handful of lawmakers at the House GOP conference meeting on Wednesday told The Hill they were struck that Boehner did not mention the impending government funding bill in the context of the healthcare law.

Further, a member of the majority-making 2010 GOP class told The Hill that Cantor has been the one who is more vocal in arguing against "mixing" the continuing resolution and defunding Obamacare.

Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R) said that he agreed with Boehner’s strategy to continue trying to dismantle the healthcare law with different pieces of legislation.

Fitzpatrick said he favored the strategy of passing bipartisan bills to repeal smaller portions of Obamacare – seven of which have been signed into law.

“That has been our approach, whether it's been Independent Payment Advisory Board or medical device tax - piece by piece we take a provision of the bill, we take it to our districts, we talk about it, we have meetings about it, meet with physicians, taxpayers - the public and that's the approach that the Speaker prefers - I think it makes sense,” Fitzpatrick said.

Still, others want a more aggressive strategy.

“I ran in 2010, when Obamacare was an issue that we ran on,” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) said, “America and my district sent us to Washington to fight to repeal this intrusive, huge government program that spends money we don't have ... I'm not going to vote for a CR that continues to fund the implementation of it.”


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Ohio
KEYWORDS: boehner; johnboehner; obamacare; ohio; randsconcerntrolls




Boehner makes me want to cry, too.

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1 posted on 08/02/2013 3:37:12 AM PDT by onyx
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To: onyx

Obama/Boehner will KILL YOU before taking down corrupt
ObamaCARE/RomneyCARE [[created by Willard Romney]].


2 posted on 08/02/2013 3:40:08 AM PDT by Diogenesis
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To: onyx

I still cannot believe he was re-elected while promising not to defund ObamaCare last year.


3 posted on 08/02/2013 3:50:59 AM PDT by GeronL
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To: GeronL; Diogenesis

Killing obamacare should be a no brainer.

Supposedly, politicians live by polls.

Well, look art the polls, for crying out loud!

The majority of Americans don’t want obamacare!

KILL IT, with FIRE!


4 posted on 08/02/2013 4:02:40 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: onyx
Killing obamacare should be a no brainer.

Exactly!!! this is simple. DEFUND!!! DEFUND!! DEFUND!!

Boehner is a coward.

5 posted on 08/02/2013 4:06:01 AM PDT by pollywog ("O Thou who changest not, abide with me.".......)
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To: onyx

Even from the pathetic picture once can see that John Boehner is fully useless to conservatives but quite a help to what Jack French Kemp used to call “our liberal friends”.


6 posted on 08/02/2013 4:06:37 AM PDT by Theodore R. (Mitt and the grand poo-bahs have spoken: "It's Jebbie's turn!")
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To: GeronL

No one else would take the job.

Boehner was re-elected because no one else was stupid enough to take the job.

No doubt Boehner is the worst Speaker to sit in the office, but he is also hurt by republicans who should belong to the Democrat party. He himself should belong to the Democrat party.


7 posted on 08/02/2013 4:07:25 AM PDT by Venturer ( cowardice posturing as tolerance =political correctness)
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To: pollywog

It is amazing that at least a couple of guys in the Senate have made it plain “If you are against, don’t vote for it”


8 posted on 08/02/2013 4:07:29 AM PDT by GeronL
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To: pollywog; everyone
Exactly!!! this is simple. DEFUND!!! DEFUND!! DEFUND!!

Boehner is a coward.

You're right, on both counts.

Call his office! Phone: (202) 225-0600

9 posted on 08/02/2013 4:11:14 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: Theodore R.

You’re precisely right.


10 posted on 08/02/2013 4:11:53 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: onyx

Don’t fall for this O-Care misdirection. These turds are trying to cloud the debate arena in order to take the heat off AMNESTY during the congressional vacation!


11 posted on 08/02/2013 4:12:05 AM PDT by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: iopscusa

BOTH are extremely important issues.


12 posted on 08/02/2013 4:14:24 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: onyx

Boehner is the problem.


13 posted on 08/02/2013 4:15:59 AM PDT by Hostage (Be Breitbart!)
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To: Hostage
"Boehner is the problem."

And Boehner is working steadily to stop the effort to form a select investigative committee on Benghazi, too. The GOP won't remove Boehner because too many in the GOP are just fine with what Obama is doing.

14 posted on 08/02/2013 4:30:03 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: Truth29

“Boehner was re-elected because no one else was stupid enough to take the job.”.

Does that mean there was a “test” to see which one was the most stupid and Boehner won?


15 posted on 08/02/2013 4:33:53 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: onyx

And now they have given Congressional employees a pass on Obamacare. Just as everyone predicted they would.


16 posted on 08/02/2013 4:43:43 AM PDT by AdaGray (Primary Them All)
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To: AdaGray

I just read that article from politico.
I intend to ask Boehner’s office about that and also my two Senator’s, Wicker and Cochran, given it’s a politico source.


17 posted on 08/02/2013 4:47:08 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: onyx
The Speaker is leading a House Republican conference that wants to dismantle President Obama’s signature, contentious achievement by any means necessary but can’t quite agree on the best way to kill it.

They don't want to actually kill it. They want to keep it around to milk votes out of the false prospect of killing it.

Always a game to them. Keep power while stringing along the voters.

18 posted on 08/02/2013 4:47:24 AM PDT by EricT. (This post has been recorded and cataloged for your security.)
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To: EricT.

You’re right.
The game is OVER.
The damn thing become law forever next year.
This is the last chance to KILL IT.


19 posted on 08/02/2013 4:48:45 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: onyx
Boehner first instinct is to grab a white flag.
20 posted on 08/02/2013 4:52:12 AM PDT by maddogtiger
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To: maddogtiger

You’re right and then a tissue.


21 posted on 08/02/2013 4:52:53 AM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: onyx

DEFUND IT OR OWN IT!


22 posted on 08/02/2013 5:11:30 AM PDT by Caipirabob (Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: onyx

———Killing obamacare should be a no brainer.-——

Killing Obamacare is not really the issue. How to kill Obamacare is the issue.

Given the current balance of power, there is no effective method for doing so. There is simply not the political power to do so. I understand and am somewhat sympathetic to the argument that the Congress has the purse string power and can take away the money. Theoretically yes. Realistically no. again, There is not the political power to kill Obacare.

Even if the Senate passes the CR minus Obama care money, the President will certainly veto the bill. There is not the votes in the Senate to pass it any way.

There is no difference in the funding bill and the 38 or 39 House bills repealing the act. The Senate ignored them.

The same will be true of the funding curtailment except that everything will cease. The Democrats will never give in, they have the power.

So long as Obama is President, Obamacare is the law of the land. There will never be a veto proof majority.

The only solution is massive bureaucratic failure that induces the population to burn Washington if it the law
not killed. That may happen. The IRS scandal and the Bengazi scandal are far from over.

All that is more likely than winning by the defunding process.

Once more...... Conservatives lack the raw political power required to force the issue


23 posted on 08/02/2013 5:13:22 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
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To: bert

Don’t try to talk sense around here. They think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.


24 posted on 08/02/2013 5:37:59 AM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: Venturer

Then the feckless gaggle that allowed him to continue his limp-wristed reign are ALSO worthless.

If they too refuse to fight for their ideals/thoughts/morals/objections, what good are they to the fight?


25 posted on 08/02/2013 9:39:35 AM PDT by i_robot73 (We hold that all individuals have the Right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives - LP.org)
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To: bert

Force the issue? Pass the pared down budget and say ‘there you go. That’s our BARE min.’ The DEMS want to close it down, lay it at their feet w/ DAILY reports (hell, HOURLY).

Who am I kidding. This is the same gaggle of feckless jackasses that can’t pass the bills REQUIRED of them before Sept. (you know, actually doing their JOB).


26 posted on 08/02/2013 9:42:47 AM PDT by i_robot73 (We hold that all individuals have the Right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives - LP.org)
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To: onyx

Boehner = Loser.

Republicans with Boehner as Speaker = Losers.

Boehner/Cantor think they are gaming their base by passing these meaningless free standing repeal bills, etc., knowing that Harry Reid will never take them up for a vote. Therefore, they can say “we tried to repeal it 97 times.”

What Boehner/Cantor are scared to death to do is to defund it through a continuing funding resolution, budget bill, or debt limit increase. They know that would REALLY force the issue and then it would come down to whether Boehner or the Kenyan Fraud would blink first.

Boehner/Cantor don’t have the courage to force the issue, so will continue to play the repeal games.


27 posted on 08/02/2013 11:04:23 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn (White, black, and red all over--America's affirmative action, metrosexual president.)
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To: onyx
That's his problem, he makes it a burden when it isn't. Just defund it for America's sake and get on with other things.

This man has no leadership qualities needed for the position he holds. It shows his mind/heart is NOT solo on America and for which she stands but tore between America and socialism, a curse to any nation.

Being torn between 'WeThePeople' and the enemies of 'WeThePeople' - is the result of too many years in corrupt DC who he made 'friends' with. Yet, he sees Obama exempted 'his friends' from being apart of it. No one can be this blind - so it is DELIBERATE on boehner's part. What IS a slam dunk, should be a slam dunk. He must have some file or lives in fear of them. He's a coward - he made it all about him and not America. Cowards bow to alleviate their burden.

It's amazing how those we are expected to do the right thing do not have the strength to face evil head on. And the reason why evilhas been allowed to implement it's evil ways in America for far too long and the reason we are in this mess. The GOP is weak - there is no Reagan among them. They did tell us the Reagan era was dead because the threat of the 'Reagan spirit' was 'resurfacing. They spoke their mindset earlier and all their actions since made it come to pass. It is ALL DELIBERATE!

Like the debates - they were for show to allow voters to think they had a chance because all they wanted was to dump Obama and NEVER the thought who was the BEST for America. We lost our chance once Romney was given cover while people were voting for 'their flavor' to win. They were too busy cheering and donating to someone 'whose position there' was never to win it. All according to plan.

Romney then went on a bloody lying rampage to take out PATRIOT NEWT AFTER the DEBATES and the one 'whose position it was to take it for the team' would not drop out and give it to NEWT - he cleared the way for Romney. Americans don't want what is best for America - no matter what they say, their actions proved it and talk is cheap. So obamacare is what America will get.

28 posted on 08/02/2013 12:38:23 PM PDT by presently no screen name
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