Those conservatives who think the GOP is unaware of the political implications of shutting down the government over Obamacare may want to revise their estimates; Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has a clever plan to stay a step ahead in the campaign to win the public’s support.
Vitter had already insisted on a vote in the Senate over an amendment that was attached to an energy-efficiency bill that had nothing to do with Obamacare. That amendment would have forced Congress, the president, and administration appointees to give up federal subsidies they would get for their health insurance. Needless to say, the Democratic-controlled Senate would not approve it, and the Senate has been stalled for a week.
Meanwhile, the House has passed a continuing resolution on Sunday vis-à-vis Obamaare in which would delay the Affordable Care Act’s implementation for one year and repeal the healthcare law’s medical device tax. That resolution, like the first bill that defunded Obamacare, is also certain to be killed by Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).
Once the second bill is killed, Vitter’s plan takes the same amendment forcing the end to federal subsidies for the political class’s health insurance and attaches it to the first defunding bill that was killed and sent back to the House. Then the House passes the bill, sends it back up to the Senate, and waits for the Senate to kill it again. One Democratic leadership aide has already said it probably wouldn’t even receive a chance to be voted on.
If the government shuts down, then, the Democrats will have forced it because they would not give up their de facto exemption from Obamacare. Vitter’s plan would show that after getting funding for every special interest they want, including Obamacare, Senate Democrats would not make a single, common-sense concession: tax dollars to insulate themselves from the very healthcare law they are forcing onto the country’s working class.