The House bill from Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) to defund the Affordable Care Act now has 100 cosponsors, according to a press release from the congressman’s office.
Graves’s bill reached the milestone just 19 days after he and Sens. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) launched the effort. The 100th cosponsor was a member of GOP leadership: Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), the vice chair of the GOP conference.
“Our 100 House cosponsors are backed by millions of Americans who want relief from Obamacare,” Graves said in a statement announcing the milestone.
Families and individuals want to know why they still have to pay for and be punished by the law while businesses and special interests get a break. Congress has the power to right this wrong if we choose not to fund the law. I thank Vice Chair Jenkins and all the other cosponsors of the Defund Obamacare Act for joining what might be the last, best chance to stop the law and lift this burden off the backs of our constituents.
Cruz’s companion bill in the Senate has 29 cosponsors, and he, Graves, and Lee are planning to use them as vehicles to attach the defunding effort to the upcoming Continuing Resolution (CR) legislation that funds the federal government. If their plan succeeds, President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) will need to decide: shut the government down to protect the controversial healthcare legislation or accept the Republican plan to defund it.
Jenkins said in the release announcing her cosponsorship of the plan that she thinks Congress should defund Obamacare until a viable alternative to the president’s healthcare law is created and implemented.
“Since I came to Congress, I have repeatedly voted to repeal and defund the president’s health care law,” Jenkins said. “Since this health care overhaul was forced on us, its price tag has nearly doubled and families and small businesses are paying the price. I am proud to join my colleagues as the 100th cosponsor of this important bill to defund this law for Kansans, and the majority of Americans who disapprove of it, while we work to implement common-sense healthcare solutions.”
The CR must be voted on by Sept. 30, a little over 60 days from now. If the plan is to succeed, Graves would need another 118 congressmen to cosponsor his bill which would give him 218, or a majority in the House, and/or Cruz would need another 12 cosponsors to his bill to get 41, enough to hold the line in the Senate. Those members would also need to pledge that they would not vote for any CR funding Obamacare.
The 60 days they have to build support is an eternity in Washington politics, but in an interview with Breitbart News on Monday, Cruz warned that establishment Republicans are “terrified” of the fight.
Nonetheless, Sen. Lee said in his recent interview with Breitbart News, “I see this as, quite arguably, our last best shot at stopping Obamacare.”