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Rick Moran

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July 27, 2013 - 6:38 am
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If it were just about any other senator making these remarks, most of the GOP could ignore it. But Senator Tom Coburn has a reputation as one of the fiercest budget hawks in the Senate. If he is opposed to “defunding” Obamacare by shutting down the government, a lot of people will listen.

From the Washington Examiner:

In a phone interview from his home state of Oklahoma, Coburn slammed a dozen fellow Republican senators who have signed a pledge not to vote for any continuing resolution or appropriations bill that funds Obamacare, which is set to go fully into effect on January 1, 2014. “I’d love to defund it,” said Coburn, a physician who has opposed the president’s national health care scheme from the beginning. “I’d be leading the charge if I thought this would work. But it will not work.” (For details on the problems with the defunding plan, see here.)

Coburn’s case against the proposal is simple: Republicans, having failed to win control of the White House and Senate in 2012, do not have the votes to cut off Obamacare funding. Given that, he sees the defunding proposal as not just wrongheaded but also an effort to mislead conservatives across the country who long to see Republicans stop Obamacare. “The worst thing is being dishonest with your base about what you can accomplish, ginning everybody up and then creating disappointment,” Coburn said. “It’s a terribly dangerous and not successful strategy.”

“You’re going to set an expectation among the conservatives in our party that we can achieve something that we’re not able to achieve,” Coburn continued. “It’s not an achievable strategy. It’s creating the false impression that you can do something when you can’t. And it’s dishonest.”

Even though Republicans don’t have the votes to defund Obamacare, they do have the power, if they choose, to bring the government to a halt. Coburn sees that as a disastrous possible result of the plan. “You’re not going to stop the funding, but what you will do is shut down the government,” he said. “Among that group of senators that has been considering this, I was the only one who was here for that,” a reference to the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996, when Coburn was a member of the House. “The president is never going to sign a bill defunding Obamacare. Do you think he’s going to cave?”

“The strategy that has been laid out is a good way for Republicans to lose the House.”

There have been all sorts of schemes to shut down the government over the years, as well as claims that it wouldn’t be that much of an inconvenience. Brave talk, but the fact is, nobody knows what would happen. Such uncertainty would impact the private sector in unpredictable ways. If it went on long enough, it might even throw the economy back into recession.

By design, funding mechanisms for Obamacare have spread throughout the departments and agencies, making it impossible to cut Obamacare without cutting other functions of government. And the insurance subsidies can’t be cut without specific congressional authorization. Like food stamps, the subsidies are classified as entitlement spending. Trying to get a bill through the Senate and signed by the president that would eliminate insurance subsidies is impossible.

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Top Rated Comments   
I have ancestors and relatives who have died to stop the ideology behind this law. I feel extremely insulted when I am told that standing for the principles they died for is "a temper tantrum." Do something. It may fail. At least you've shown you have a little spine left. I'm tired of Crybaby politicians saying they can't do anything. If you can't do anything, why are we paying you? Why don't you just go home and quit? Are you saying we have no representation? We went down that road in 1776. I have never noticed the least inconvenience in 1995 or recently when the government wasn't funded. I doubt it will bother me in the future either. The only major concern would be a foreign invasion while the government is shut down, but I bet ordinary citizens in my city are better armed most of the world's militaries. Besides, in the late 1700's they meant the town''s menfolk when they spoke of militia.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Senater Burr’s defeatism is worse than dumb, it’s cowardly and it’s politically inept. He doesn’t understand that the Republican party is supposed to be the opposition party right now.

That means it’s supposed to oppose the Democrats. It’s supposed to stand for something and fight for it. When the base hears Senator Burr the only conclusion is that the Republicans are no different than Democrats. They are all against us, we have no one who is willing to stand up for us. That just makes it easy to stay home on election day. Conservatives have a history to doing that, and Republicans lose elections when that happens.

If Senator Burr is going to be George McClellan we’ll have be Lincoln and find some other generals.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Defeatist nonsense. All appropriations bills must originate in the House of Representatives. Therefore, the GOP caucus there could simply decline to appropriate for ObamaCare implementation. The Senate would have no say in the matter, as it lacks the power to originate an appropriation.

The key lies in appropriations bills that address only one activity. That would prevent the conference-compromise nonsense that the Democrats would otherwise use to wedge an ObamaCare appropriation under the tent lip. Should the Senate refuse to play ball, or should Obama veto such appropriations bills, the blame for a government shutdown would fall where it belongs – on the Democrats.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (48)
All Comments   (48)
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Spineless cowards!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Am I alone in feeling that shutting down the Federal Government may turn out to be the best thing of this new century?
Let the states handle the problems, without the intrusion of the alphabet soup of various federal bureaucracies.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
ObamaCare is not sustainable. It adds new and probably unimaginable amounts to a Federal Budget that is in perpetually unsustainable deficit. If about 60% of the country suddenly began to worry about those problems, they would vote for fiscal responsibility, and then we could repeal ObamaCare and fix the other social safety net program tsunamis now building.

But low information voters and rock-ribbed leftist and Progressives and Democrats will insist that the way to fix these unsustainable programs is to keep growing them, without acknowledging that some undefinable financial crisis must occur that will jeopardize lives, retirements, and even our national existence. Avoid some pain now, and guarantee far greater pain, disruption and destruction later. Politically, admittedly harsh measures are necessary to fix it now. I don't see any way out of America's imbalance, but collapse. Detroit, we'll be joining you shortly.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It occurs to me that we're leaving too much of this to Our Betters in congress. You can't defeat ObamaCare with only 1/2 of 1/3 of the government, but Jesus Christ, aren't WE the government? When do we march? Some time before September 30?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This guy know what he's doing, he's a traitor. He's going to appoint Marshal Philippe Pétain to run the Vichy government. Let's go have a cointreau cocktail at Rick's, instead. Then maybe cause him a little trouble, n'est pas?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dishonest to think we can win against Obamacare...

Who said we thought we would win? Some things are worth fighting and dying for even if victory is impossible.

Principles. Sometimes it is worth standing for principles even if defeat is sure.

Grow a spine, dammit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is disapointing, I expected more courage from Coburn. If the founding fathers were afraid of being killed the u.s.a would not exist. You can't win if you don't fight.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Claiming to oppose Obamacare and voting to repeal it when the vote is PURLY symbolic;
Then not to defund Obamacare when the vote will actually count...
.
THAT is dishonest.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Coburn's right. He usually is. So here's an 'outside-the-box' idea, which might work. Or not. Let's tax the folks, which would be us, to pay for Obamacare. All of it. And then let's tax the folks some more to fund all the government programs that our liberal friends want to "give" us, from big entitlements to big defense to big bureaucracy. In other words, let's pay for what we get and balance our budget. The result? Likely outrage at the enormous tax burden we would have to bear to keep the piggish, bloated beast that is our Federal government afloat. The alternative is what we have now, which is a government where the Dems can't wait to spend more, and the Republicans can't bring themselves to tax people to pay for the spending. The result of which is that we get big government at 40% off list price, which everybody just loves! And why wouldn't they? Except that the National Debt explodes because of the borrowing, and at some point, the country becomes Detroit. If we ever actually paid for the government we seem to want, the goal of a smaller, smarter government might gain some traction, and the self-styled "small government conservatives" might just win an election. Until then. no traction. Just empty rhetoric. And posturing. And more gridlock. And more debt. Lots of it. And it's increasingly untenable.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is that hill to die on. If ObamaCare goes into effect, America will no longer be a land of liberty, or a shining city on a hill. After that, it won't matter whether there's a GOP or not.

Shut. It. Down.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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