Ted Cruz and John Cornyn Now Hinting at a Government Shutdown if Dems Don't Defund Obamacare

Categories: News, Politics

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NBC DFW
House Republicans have now voted 39 times to repeal Obamacare. On a certain level, their persistence is admirable in the same way that I admire the way my dog never stops believing that this will be the time that he finally catches that squirrel. One's esteem is diminished only slightly by the fact that there's no way in hell Charlie's jaws will ever know the satisfaction of clenching on living squirrel, just as the GOP's Obamacare dream will always crushed by Senate Democrats.

But Congressional Republicans are a good deal smarter than my dog, who would willingly march before a death panel for a thorough scratch behind the ear. While he never alters his strategy of hurtling himself headlong at the scampering critters only to be surprised and baffled by their tree-climbing skills, the Republicans adapt.

That's what they're doing now. The New York Times reports today on the GOP's new strategy, which is less about bleeding Obamacare through a thousand cuts than about holding the entire federal budget hostage until they get their way.

On Tuesday, a House Appropriations subcommittee formally drafted legislation that would cut the Environmental Protection Agency's budget by 34 percent and eliminate his newly announced greenhouse gas regulations. The bill cuts financing for the national endowments for the arts and the humanities in half and the Fish and Wildlife Service by 27 percent.

For the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, Mr. Obama requested nearly $3 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs -- a mainstay of his economic agenda since he was first elected. The House approved $826 million. Senate Democrats want to give $380 million to ARPA-E, an advanced research program for energy. The House allocated $70 million.

A House bill to finance labor and health programs, expected to be unveiled Wednesday, makes good on Republican threats to eliminate the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The labor and health measure -- for years the most contentious spending bill -- will protect some of the White House's priorities, like Head Start, special education and the National Institutes of Health, but to do so education grants for poor students will be cut by 16 percent and the Labor Department by 13 percent, according to House Republican aides.

"These are tough bills," acknowledged Representative Harold Rogers, the Kentucky Republican who leads the House Appropriations Committee. "His priorities are going nowhere."

Leading this battle in the other chamber is Texas' Senate delegation of Ted Cruz and John Cornyn. Cruz co-authored a letter, immediately signed by Cornyn, warning of consequences if Democrats insist on continuing to fund the implementation of Obamacare.

We view the Obama Administration's recent decision to delay ObamaCare's employer mandate and eligibility verification for the individual exchanges as further proof the law is a failure that will inevitably hurt businesses, American families, and the economy.

In light of this admission, we believe the only way to avert disaster is to fully repeal ObamaCare and start over with a more sensible, practical approach to reforming our health care system.

However, if Democrats will not agree with Republicans that ObamaCare must be repealed, perhaps they can at least agree with the president that the law cannot be implemented as written. If the administration will not enforce the law as written, then the American people should not be forced to fund it.

The threat is veiled, but it's there. If the Dems don't give in, Cruz, Cornyn and their Tea Party-courting colleagues will work to shut down the federal government by refusing to vote for spending measures to keep things running.

The chances that Obama and his allies in Congress will suddenly abandon one of his signature achievements because the junior senator from Texas threatened him are nil. The chances that the GOP will be able to hold Obamacare hostage and force a government shutdown are considerably higher.

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22 comments
Fred
Fred

looks and talk like Nixon

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Well, it won't make the government better - but it sure will open up the hunting grounds for gun-runners, drug dealers and child predators.

White_Jesus
White_Jesus

Oh How I wish Ted Cruz would go back to his country. This is america and obamacare , love it or leave it

roo_ster
roo_ster

I sure hope they make progress.  Barring that, continue with the tiny sequester cuts.  Heck, include entitlement programs in a new & improved sequestration.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

They will simply pass a continuing resolution that keeps the sequester cuts in place.  That is the beauty of the sequester, the gift that keeps on giving.  By passing an "as is" resolution, the Republicans are not being intransigent.  The debt limit will go up, more services and federal employees get cut by the magic of brainless algebra and all is right with the world.  It is exactly as the Founding Fathers intended.  Spending one more dollar was never supposed to be easy. 

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Cruz and his "I have in my hand here a document that contains" style is a dead ringer for Joe McCarthy and his tactics.  Ask Newt Gingrich how shutting down the government played out.

John1073
John1073

Oh Republicans, please follow through on your threat. It will be the quickest way to your defeat in 2014!

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

Q: What's the fastest way to cut off Ted Cruz's dangling, suppurating hemorrhoids?

A: Kick John Cornyn in the chin.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

I suggest that you are not correct about the Congressional Republicans being "a good deal smarter than [your] dog", as evidenced by their never ending attempts to turn back the clock on this legislation, which is very analygous to the never ending pursuit of that squirrel....

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Just look at Cruz.  That is the face of the right-wing sociopathic republican party these days.  That hang-dog look.  That sad, depressed, negative countenance.  That  miserable, bitter, nasty aspect.  Yes.  The Face of the Republican Party: Ted Cruz.

animas
animas

Over 5 million Texans-24% are uninsured.  By the time many get Medicaid or Medicare, their health problems are seriously chronic, multiple, and difficult to treat costing the govt much more than if they had coverage at a reasonable age.  It's  time for a single payor system.

icowrich
icowrich

@roo_ster The sequester cuts won't be repeated.  Personally, I wouldn't mind another such round, but the military cuts will be too much for the GOP to bear, and the Dems don't want those discretionary items hit again.  Sequester was a one time trick made possible only through the fiction that they were too terrible to be allowed to occur.  Nobody will buy that this time around.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz Puzzlingly, Cruz is actually very bright - magna cum laude at Harvard Law is not a popularity contest. Is he so smart that he's able to play convincingly to the Tea Party folks, who would ordinarily distrust any such elite, while remaining intellectually aloof from their nuttiness? Surely he doesn't actually believe the far-fetched, contrary-to-logic nonsense? Romney did that on more than occasion, and persisted in preaching nonsense to the converted while knowing it was BS despite authenticated proof to the contrary.

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

I keep getting the distinct feeling that Cruz's entire personality was shaped by his high school years, where he was repeatedly beaten up for lunch money and wedgied by the anime club. "Ooh, you got Stephanie mad. You'd better get over here and let her kick your ass. If she has to get out of her wheelchair, you're really gonna get it."

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@animas ALL of the registered funeral homes in Dallas are owned and operated by ultra-conservative families.

Advertising doesn't increase their business - but voting Republican does.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@animas Don't go spouting facts and logic, just pisses them off more.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@icowrich @MikeWestEast 

In Iran, demonstrators are using signs and slogans created by Tea Party Republicans to show their hatred for the US.

Emasculating the military isn't just something they're willing to accept - it's one of their primary goals.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @John1073 

not really "ahead". the 95-96 shutdown saw a net loss of congressional seats by republicans and the re-election of clinton the next fall. gingrich's image never recovered.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@mavdog @everlastingphelps @John1073 

The word "ahead" is a matter of perspective.  To Iran, al Quaeda, the GOP, the Zetas, la Famila, and other terrorist networks, "moving forward" means blowing up another building and killing more Americans.

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