Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has suggested shutting down the entire United States government in order to block the Affordable Health Care Act.
Great. Because nothing says, "We open our welcoming arms to all and come join to our Party," like shutting down the government during a recession because you're against affordable health care.
On the exciting news, though, Sen. Lee says that he's gotten "13-14" senators to say they'll join him and a "host" of members of Congress. As small as "13-14" senators sounds (and it sounds really, really tiny, when you need at least 40 to filibuster measures), but a "host" sounds significantly smaller. So small that he won't even say how few he has -- which is a major problem when in the House you need 218. And an even bigger problem when something like voting to shut down the United States government risks your political career.
“Congress of course has to pass a law to continue funding government -- lately we’ve been doing that through a funding mechanism called a continuing resolution," Lee said. "If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it. We can stop the individual mandate from going into effect.”
Alas, somehow I suspect that "simply" refusing is not quite as simple as he's trying to make it sound. Though I'll bet it's swell for raising money for your campaign funds.
Mind you, even if shutting down the government over affordable healthcare doesn't sound like a really great idea (and it doesn't), that doesn't mean Republicans won't give up trying to terrify the public over affordable healthcare. Indeed, this cockeyed plan is seemingly just one prong of a many-pronged prong. This summer, for instance, during the Congressional recess, the GOP has another plan, this one to hold town hall meetings and terrify voters over some mythical healthcare "emergency." (Personally, I think this plan risks backfiring bigtime even more, because if you get voters together for a town hall there's a good chance they might actually speak out vociferously on subjects other than the one you want -- like, how the sequester is hurting them. Or also, as long as we're here, why do you want to shut down the government during a recession, rather than working with the President of the United States?)
Then again, if Republicans really, truly, honestly do want to shut down the government (and I suspect that some really, truly, honestly do), they have so much better weapons at their disposal, like the insane, good old standby, voting against raising the debt limit. And hey, it turns out that the GOP is talking about that one, yet again!
I'll bet it's well for raising money for your campaign funds. Really bad for everything else, but still...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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