GOP Congressman: Defund-Obamacare Caucus Not Conservative Because Conservatives 'Know How to Count'
A Central California Republican slammed the defund-Obamacare caucus in the House as lacking the math skills to be true conservatives.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who represents an agricultural swathe of the San Joaquin Valley and is close to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), told CNN this afternoon that he felt "pretty strongly" that a bill to end the shutdown and address the debt ceiling would pass through the Rules Committee today and make it to the floor for a vote tonight.
The Rules Committee announced a 5:40 p.m. meeting on the emergency measure, an amendment version of the continuing resolution.
"Essentially what it is, it's a clean debt limit increase until, I believe, into the new year," Nunes said. "And I think a clean debt limit -- CR funding the government until probably December. And then with the medical device tax, making sure that -- that there is all members of Congress and staff and White House are on ObamaCare. And then making sure that there's an income verification in ObamaCare. So a couple of small changes to ObamaCare, but all changes that the Senate actually agrees with. And I think this -- this would be a strong bipartisan compromise with the Senate."
The fifth-term congressman said he didn't know how much of the Republican conference would get behind the bill.
"It would really show those who are Republicans and those across the country, those that came here to actually govern and make law and actually do something with their voting card versus people who just want to vote no," Nunes said.
He'd previously called the Tea Party group aligned with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) the "lemming caucus" and accused them of pushing a "moronic" strategy.
"These are not conservatives that do this. To be a conservative, you have to know how to count. And we started off in this without even counting the votes. Clearly, we didn't have the votes. And so now we've been through this for two weeks. It's exactly -- it's playing out exactly as we knew it would. It was not going to get rid of ObamaCare. But there are times when we work closely using our majority, like we'll try to do tonight. If we can use our majority tonight to give us leverage, then I think Harry Reid will have to take this, or something that looks awfully -- an awful lot like it," Nunes said today.
"When you go out and tell your constituents that we are going to just shut the government down until we get rid of ObamaCare, it's just lunacy, plain and simple. So this allows us tonight to get 218 Republicans to pass something that would then be -- go over to the Senate, that would make some small changes to ObamaCare that need to be made."