Congressman: 'Close to 250' House Members Ready Defund Obamacare Today
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said he expects there to be somewhere close to 250 House members to vote for the plan to defund Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution (CR) on Friday, when House GOP leadership brings the plan up for a vote.
“I would predict that will we get closer to 250 votes,” Meadows said at a Conversations with Conservatives (CWC) press event that the Heritage Foundation’s Rob Bluey moderated on Thursday. “If you look at the Democrats, 25 of the most competitive Democratic races are outlined. Twenty-one of those people voted with us to delay the individual mandate. Now if that says that they aren’t paying attention to what the people say back home I don’t know what is. They’re having to vote so that they justify that.
Meadows added that “I’m hopeful that we get an overwhelming majority tomorrow, and I believe that we will.”
Meadows is hardly the only Republican showing confidence with this battle. On a conference call with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) said “the American people [are] finally taking their government back.”
“It’s time to realize that the power of our government is in the hands of the people,” Salmon said. “The great tsunami, as the Senator called it, or the tidal wave of phone calls, coming in to every congressional office, every Senate office, demanding that their voices be heard, that this atrocity that will kill jobs, that will kill our economy, that has already hurt countless people, and will continue to hurt more and more people, by forcing them out of their jobs. Every fast food chain in America has changed their full time staff to part time staff. That’s not what the president promised everybody. So, we’re going to hold the line and I believe that the Senate [GOP] is going to do everything it possibly can to beat Harry Reid on every front on his chicanery and overcome. The most important thing of all is we’re unified. The conservatives in the House and the conservatives in the Senate are united. We’re not going to stop with anything short of a victory.”
At the CWC event on Thursday, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) said he is seeing Republicans in Congress unite. “What I’m seeing in this conference and I’ve been here for almost nine months, is a calling together,” Yoho said. “And I think what you’re seeing in members on both sides of the aisle recognize our problems are bigger than Republicans and they’re bigger than Democrats. This is a time in our nation’s history when we need to come together as Americans. I’m seeing that in here. And I’m seeing that cohesiveness develop. And let’s pray and hope that that’s what continues happening for this country to go on forward to make a better stronger America and a more competitive America.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) said at the CWC event that he is excited about the vote’s prospects. “I’ve been here for two years and nine months and for the first time, we’re going to have a vote on must-pass legislation on what most of us were elected on,” Huelskamp said. “And I think that’s a good thing.”
On the conference call with Cruz and Salmon, Rep. Bridenstine said conservatives have proved to the pundits that defunding Obamacare can, in fact, be done in the Continuing Resolution.
“When it first started, a lot of people came out and said ‘technically it can’t be done,’” Bridenstine said. “’Technically, this is a Continuing Resolution and Obamacare is on the mandatory side so it can’t be defunded with a Continuing Resolution.’ And we proved that it can be defunded with a Continuing Resolution. After we proved that it could be defunded with a Continuing Resolution, then interestingly people started listening to the American people a little bit more. Then it was ‘politically, it can’t be done. We don’t have the votes. We don’t have the votes.’ We heard that over and over and over again. Well, tomorrow, we’re going to take a vote. And tomorrow we’re going to find out in the House of Representatives that we do, in fact, have the votes. And then it’s going to go to the Senate.”
Bridenstine said conservatives may in fact be able to defund Obamacare in the Senate, too, just like the House.
“Interestingly, everybody is going to say that the Senate can’t prevail,” Bridenstine said. “But they have said over and over again, and Ted Cruz said it just right. The pundits were saying it can’t be done. But the reason we have come this far is because of how many people have been reaching out to their members of Congress, how many people have been talking to their friends and their neighbors and going to DontFundIt.com and signing the petition and getting their friends and neighbors to sign the petition. It has absolutely changed the dynamic of this conversation.”