The dirty little secret that congressional Republicans are carrying around with them is that while they are campaigning on killing the ACA, they quietly threw up the white flag and voted to fund Obamacare before they left town.
National Journal reports that conservatives are finally realized that they were duped,
Congress approved its first regular spending bill in years this past week, in a move hailed by many as a return to fiscal sanity. But there’s a potential danger for Republicans lurking in the depths of the $1.1 trillion omnibus appropriation package that sailed through both houses: Obamacare.
While the GOP managed to win some concessions on the Affordable Care Act, conservatives see the spending bill as “funding Obamacare,” as RedState wrote. It’s basically the same thing that Ted Cruz and other conservatives blocked a few months ago, forcing a government shutdown, and Cruz tried again to rally support for blocking the spending bill.
Tea-party and conservative groups railed against the bill, while Heritage Action warned lawmakers to vote against the package, saying that “by continuing to fund implementation of Obamacare, the omnibus bill would continue to entangle taxpayer dollars in abortion coverage.” The bill passed, of course, thanks in part to the lesson of October.
The same thing that Republicans shut the government down because they did not want the ACA funded. They stomped, screamed, faux filibustered, and raised millions of dollars. In the end, they did exactly what they said they wouldn’t do by funding the ACA. The words of congressional Republicans say repeal and kill Obamacare, but their actions are an admission of defeat.
Elected Republicans and GOP candidates now use Obamacare much like they used to use abortion and same sex marriage. They fearmonger on the ACA to get the base to come out and vote on Election Day. The political reality is that the ACA isn’t going anywhere. Republicans funded it in 2014. They will vote to fund it again in 2015. Since they won’t want to risk a government shutdown during a presidential election year, they will fund it again in 2016.
Republicans lost, but they are still trying to fool their voters into believing that they can kill the ACA. The truth is that they will continue to vote to fund the ACA, because they are terrified of the political fallout from another government shutdown. Republicans will blow a lot of hot air about the “evils of Obamacare” from now until November, but they lost.
They know they lost, and that’s why Republicans will continue to try to quietly vote to fund the very law that they rage against for years to come.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association