Nation Defenders Need Public Support

Boehner cancels vote after conservatives reject plan that accomplishes nothing whatsoever
Published by: Dan Calabrese
Symbolism and semantics

While Mitch McConnell negotiates to get Harry Reid to accept his capitulation in the Senate, John Boehner cannot seem to corral House conservatives to back his version of the same. Last night Boehner cancelled a House vote on his proposal that would have funded the government through December 15 and raised the debt limit through roughly February 7 of next year. Why? Because conservatives refused to back a bill that doesn’t solve the problems that led to the confrontation in the first place.

The one thing it would do is good: It would stop the government-funded subsidy that allows federal employees (including congressmen and their staffs) to receive subsidized coverage under ObamaCare in spite of the fact that their income levels do not qualify them for it. But as symbolically outrageous as that subsidy is – since it demonstrates the Beltway crowd understands what a crock ObamaCare really is – Boehner’s bill would do nothing to grant relief to the citizenry that would still be stuck with ObamaCare in its original form.

And that got a thumbs-down from conservatives in the House, especially after the Heritage Foundation decided to “key the vote,” which means Heritage would include it as a measurement in its legislative scorecard. Heritage explains:

Unfortunately, the proposed deal will do nothing to stop Obamacare’s massive new entitlements from taking root — radically changing the nature of American health care.

Despite overruling OPM’s congressional exemption, the proposed plan will do absolutely nothing to help Americans who are negatively impacted by Obamacare. Premiums will continue to skyrocket, cancellation notices will still arrive in the mail, employers will continue reducing hours and bureaucrats will continue reaching deeper and deeper into our health care decisions.

Moreover, on January 1, 2014, Obamacare’s new entitlements are scheduled to take effect. The taxpayers will spend $48 billion in 2014 – and nearly $1.8 trillion through 2023 – on these new entitlement programs. Additionally, health insurance premiums are skyrocketing across America, and employers are shedding jobs and hours. The majority of the American people oppose Obamacare. Even many on the Left – including some powerful unions who were once the law’s strongest supporters – have conceded that it is a train wreck.

Conservatives took the right position, but it’s hard to see where we go from here. We hit the debt ceiling at midnight tonight, and while Boehner’s proposal was timid and inconsequential, Obama and Reid aren’t even willing to go that far – and McConnell is not pushing them to do so. If House conservatives are really willing to let the government hit the debt ceiling and stand firm until they get real changes to ObamaCare, do you seriously think at that point Obama and Reid will bargain?

My guess is they wouldn’t. Instead, they would start applying pressure to the handful of wavering House Republicans who could join with Democrats to pass a continuing resolution and debt ceiling increase, thus leaving conservatives defeated and Boehner humiliated. But that doesn’t mean House conservatives should back a crummy proposal that ends the shutdown with nothing of substance having been achieved.

The sad truth is that those in Washington who are really serious about changing things for the benefit of the nation are a tiny minority compared to those who just want to keep the spending and borrowing train rolling. The fight is righteous, but until the public starts demanding the same things House conservatives are demanding, I don’t see how it can be achieved. And not enough of the public understands that it should demand those things because it is either not paying attention or getting its information from the mainstream media.

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