Monday, September 30, 2013
To: Friends & Supporters
From: Gary L. Bauer
Senate Stalls As Shutdown Looms
As expected, Friday afternoon the Senate rejected the House’s resolution to keep the government open while defunding Obamacare. But House conservatives stuck to their guns. They worked through the weekend, doing their part to avoid a partial government shutdown at midnight tonight, while taking a second shot at Obamacare.
The House passed another funding bill to keep the government open, and it attached two amendments to the resolution: one repealing Obamacare’s tax on medical devices and another amendment delaying implementation of Obamacare for one year.
There was only one problem: Senate Democrats had left town for the weekend. In response, Speaker Boehner issued a blistering statement Sunday:
- “The House worked late into the night Saturday to prevent a government shutdown, and the Senate now must move quickly, today, to do the same. If the Senate stalls until Monday afternoon … it would be an act of breathtaking arrogance…
“They will be deliberately bringing the nation to the brink of a government shutdown for the sake of raising taxes on seniors’ pacemakers and children’s hearing aids and plowing ahead with the train wreck that is the president’s health care law.”
Make no mistake about it: Senate Democrats are trying to run out the clock. Reid refused to reconvene the Senate until 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, and he refused even to consider the House bill. Senate Democrats tabled the resolution, rejecting it without any debate or consideration.
What Happens Next?
The stock market has been down all day, reflecting the unease around the country with the gridlock in Washington. As I write, there is talk of a one-week extension with no strings attached, giving congressional leaders more time to negotiate a solution.
There is also a report that the House may try to pass another funding bill with amendments delaying Obamacare’s individual mandate and repealing the waiver Obama granted to members of Congress and Capitol Hill staff.
If nothing is agreed to, a partial government shutdown takes effect at midnight. What does that mean? Initially, most Americans probably would not notice.
Social Security checks would continue to go out. Your mail would continue to be delivered. Veterans’ hospitals would not close. On the other hand, vacationers to national parks and the monuments and museums in Washington, D.C., would likely have to make other plans.
But the longer it goes on, the worse it could get. When the government shuts down, the president, as head of the executive branch, has tremendous discretion to decide what gets shut down and what stays open.
Guess what Obama will do? He will make it as painful as possible. And Obama and his media allies will blame Republicans. Who will voters blame? Democrats think they will win this fight and they may be right.
The GOP’s Circular Firing Squad
Research shows that when a battle is being waged in the air waves, the side that runs the most ads with its message almost always wins. What we are seeing right now with Obamacare and the government shutdown are a lot of free “ads” from the liberal media establishment touting the liberal line.
Most Americans don’t watch conservative media. As a result, they are getting their information through the liberal media’s largely pro-Obama filter. On that basis alone, Democrats are confident, and Republicans are worried, that public opinion will swing against us. If it does, it could not only jeopardize our chances of winning the Senate back, but also put the House majority at risk.
I’m glad Republicans are having this fight. The American people need to know what is wrong with Obamacare and where each side stands when it comes to growing the government or limiting government and defending free enterprise.
I believe that we need to stop Obamacare. I think this is a fight worth having. Of course, reasonable people can disagree, and there has been no shortage of Republicans who don’t like the current strategy.
Unfortunately, some of them have used rhetoric that plays right into the Democrats’ hands. They are calling people like Ted Cruz and others “nuts,” “dumb” and “bizarre.” They claim conservatives are “jeopardizing the future of the party.”
It hasn’t gone without notice that some of the harshest political rhetoric used by these Republicans has been aimed at conservatives rather than Obama and his allies. At the same time, some conservatives are accusing some of our best friends of being sellouts.
For example, I know Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). He is one of the most stalwart pro-life, pro-family, fiscally conservative senators ever elected. However, he strongly disagrees with this defunding strategy. But it is inaccurate and unwise for conservatives to call Tom Coburn a “RINO.”
The mutual name-calling is music to the ears of Obama and the liberal media. They think we are once again forming a circular firing squad as we head into the critically important 2014 mid-term elections.
I have a suggestion for the two sides in this disagreement: When you go on a talk show, whether you’re part of the Tea Party movement or the GOP establishment, simply say:
- “Look, we have a disagreement about strategy. But we have no disagreement about the dangers of Obamacare. We are furious and brokenhearted about what President Obama and his socialist policies are doing to America’s middle class. I won’t come on your TV show to attack another Republican. We didn’t cause this mess. We are trying to stop it from doing any more damage to our economy and hardworking families.”
State Marriage Laws Under Siege
The Supreme Court’s summer decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act has opened a flood gate of litigation against state marriage laws. Friday, a federal judge ordered the state of New Jersey to recognize same-sex “marriage.” Governor Chris Christie has promised to appeal.
Today’s Washington Post reports, “There are dozens of lawsuits filed in state and federal courts,” seeking to force same-sex “marriage” on every state of the union. Even voter-approved constitutional amendments are coming under attack. Virginia’s marriage protection amendment, passed by 56% of the voters in 2006, is facing two legal challenges, according to the Post.
The outcome of this fight is far from certain. While the Supreme Court struck down the law defining marriage in federal statutes, it did not declare same-sex “marriage” to be a right under the U.S. Constitution. For now it left the definition of marriage to the states.
But the left is not content with letting the people decide. That is why it is once again turning to unelected judges to force its morality on the American people. In the meantime, men and women of faith cannot give up as the issue will continue to be fought at the state level, with tremendous repercussions for religious liberty.