Conservative House Republicans are circulating a letter calling on House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to defund Obamacare in the upcoming continuing resolution that funds the government. Oklahoma Republican Rep. Jim Bridenstine, a freshman, and Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp are leading the charge.
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (‘ObamaCare’) remains broadly unpopular across America,” the letter to Boehner and Cantor reads. “More and more Americans are now feeling its impact--from job losses and part-time downgrades, to insurance policy changes and violations of religious liberties, to state budget strains from Medicaid expansions. And Americans don’t like these impacts. Most Americans still believe that healthcare should be controlled by patients and doctors, not by the government.”
In the letter, the conservatives note that while they plan to “re-start efforts to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety this year, next year and until we are successful,” that “in the meantime, there is more we can do in Congress.”
The upcoming continuing resolution, which funds the government, is one such place. House Republicans have the power, should they choose to use it, to shut down Obamacare through the appropriations process--the power of the purse laid out in the United States Constitution.
It is unclear if Boehner and Cantor will defund Obamacare this time around. Over the past couple years, they have passed continuing resolutions that actually fund Obamacare. Spokespeople for both Boehner and Cantor have not returned requests for comment from Breitbart News on this matter.
That said, Cantor and Boehner both promised to use the appropriations process to defund Obamacare in press statements in early 2011 after the Tea Party movement swept the GOP into control of the House of Representatives.
At a February 2011 press conference, CNS News asked Cantor: "On the CR [continuing resolution], when that bill comes to the floor, will there be any funding for the health care reform law in it?"
Cantor responded that there would not. “I expect to see, one way or the other, the product coming out of the House to speak to that [ObamaCare funding] and to preclude any funding to be used for that,” Cantor said.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel added: “[M]ake no mistake, House Republicans are committed to repealing ObamaCare (which we have already voted to do) and--if the Senate fails to act on repeal--we will use every means at our disposal to stop this job-destroying law.”
In the two years that have passed since, Boehner and Cantor have not followed through on that promise.
It certainly does not appear that Boehner and Cantor will fight this time, though. When NBC News’ David Gregory asked Boehner on Sunday’s Meet The Press whether he would “commit” to not shutting the government down over the continuing resolution, Boehner responded: “absolutely.”
“We, the House next week will act to extend the continuing resolution through the end of the fiscal year, September 30th,” Boehner said. “The president this morning agreed that we should not have any talk of a government shutdown. So I'm hopeful that the House and Senate will be able to work through this.”