A House conservative confirmed that he and his allies would keep pushing to defund Obamacare in any continuing resolution passed to end the government shutdown.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) was one of four Republicans stripped of his plum committee assignments late last year — Budget and Agriculture — and voted against House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in the speaker elections at the beginning of the 113th Congress.
“We’re still debating, hopefully, the issue of Obamacare, which is exceedingly unpopular, and clearly unworkable and remains unfair. The last offer we sent to the Senate was two weeks ago. They have yet to have a recorded vote. And I find it interesting listening to senators talk about what they might do,” Huelskamp said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday. “The House has passed 15 appropriations bills to keep the memorials open, take care of the veterans, take care of our troops, and the Senate just sits there. But at the end of the day what we have accomplished is not much yet.”
“But we have to focus on Obamacare. And we also have to focus on the underlying problem that’s been ignored for years, and that’s too much spending.”
The congressman said Democrats in the Senate shut down the government for two reasons: “They did not want to extend the same break that the president gave to big business, did not want to extend that to the rest of America. And they also wanted to maintain their gold-plated health care system just for members of congress. I think those are two very unpopular approaches from the Senate.”
“But at the end of the day, we’ve got a spending problem. And we have a debt ceiling that’s approaching. The debt ceiling is not the problem, Bob. It’s the fact they’ve been spending about $1 trillion more than they’re take next. I think most folks are tired of not only the games in Washington, shutting down the World War II memorial, but more importantly, which is why the Tea Party took office, because they think Washington is ignoring the underlying problems of spending too much money,” Huelskamp continued.
He said the Oct. 17 debt ceiling deadline is overblown. “I agree with Joe Biden in August of 2011, the last time we had this type of crisis, Joe Biden admitted in China to our folks over there that there will be no default. It’s not going to happen. There are no payments due on October 17 to pay our creditors. There are no payments due until November 15. That’s why Moody’s has indicated it’s not going to have a major impact.”
On Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s warning of catastrophic economic consequences, Huelskamp said, “I think clearly the White House is trying to scare the markets.”
“I mean, the frustration I have, and I think most Americans have is not only the games but more importantly the ignorance of the major problem, a $17 trillion debt, trillion dollars worth of deficits every year for the first four years of this administration, another $700 billion,” Huelskamp added.
“That’s why during the debt ceiling proposal last week was to say, let’s talk about entitlements, let’s talk about how we can get our spending under control, not in the short term, not this week, this year, but in the next decade. And that’s why the House Republicans are pushing for a plan to balance the budget in 10 years, and Obamacare cannot be part of that plan because it blows a huge hole in our deficits.”