House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told Fox's Sean Hannity the other evening that President Obama's decision to delay for one year a key requirement of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was "a continuation of what we have begun to call the imperial presidency."
Cantor criticized President Obama for selectively enforcing the law.
Tough words. Tons of tough words. But is there any chance for some action?
Hannity was wondering the same thing and asked, "Since the efforts to repeal Obamacare have failed, would the Republican Congress consider defunding Obamacare?"
The question was simple and honest. The answer was muddled and stammering---indecisive and unclear. But with lots of words.
This issue is bigger than Cantor, but Cantor gave us a clear illustration of how unclear and uncertain the Republican leadership seems to be on too many issues.
Here's what he said:
Question by Hannity: "Would the House Republicans consider defunding Obamacare?"
Answer from Cantor:
"Right, and we have continued, when we -- to do just that, we've continued to say under the sequester that we're operating on, that the president says, you know, he wants to do something about it, but never has come forward with any kind of other suggested reforms in the entitlement areas. But when they ask for more money for Obamacare's implementation, we said no. We said no, we don't feel that this law is the right direction to go in. Nor do we feel this administration should have the ability to take taxpayer dollars to go and sell and market this bill."
"But I think one of the options going forward, Sean, is to take a look at what this White House has done and say, you know what, if it's fair for big business to be exempted from this mandate, we ought to say the same for individuals. We ought to go ahead and delay the individual mandate, and as you know, that individual mandate is the crux of Obamacare, without the individual mandate, the whole law collapses."
Yes, but the healthcare fiasco would also collapse if the House simply defunded it.
Why can the Republican leadership not bring themselves to either defund it, or tell us why they won't?
They have the power, why do they not have the will? Under the Constitution, the Executive Branch cannot spend any money from the Treasury unless Congress appropriates it, either through budget bills or a continuing resolution.
Are they afraid of the political backlash or push back?
They could not possibly be afraid. Everyone knows how unpopular this plan really is and the more we learn, the more we don't like it.
Rasmussen published a poll this week that finds "only 39% of likely voters have at least somewhat favorable view of Obamacare," while 55% view it "unfavorably." And the unfavorability is growing.
What part of that can "conservative" politicians not understand? Even if they are driven by polls, rather than convictions.
The Hill reported this week that "House Republicans are considering a vote to delay Obamacare's individual mandate." An anonymous source told them Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, told a closed door meeting of leadership it's not fair for Obama to exempt businesses for a year, but not individuals.
But isn't there a bigger picture in play? The whole Obamacare plan is unfair for all Americans. It doesn't deliver what they said it would deliver, it costs exponentially more than we were told and it moves our country far down the road to socialism. And it destroys America's healthcare system, a system thought by many to be the best in the world.
That is also "unfair."
The Heritage Foundation said this on Tuesday of this week:
"Full defunding of Obamacare would halt the law’s new entitlements before they start—and prevent HHS from raiding other parts of the departmental budget to promote Obamacare," Heritage said. "Defunding Obamacare would also prevent the application of the law’s new regulations and 18 separate tax increases, including the tax for not complying with the individual mandate.
"While Congress cannot unilaterally repeal Obamacare, the Constitution grants Congress the ultimate “power of the purse.” If Congress chooses not to fund Obamacare activities for the upcoming fiscal year, the Obama Administration cannot act to implement the law. Congress can, and Congress should, act to defund all of Obamacare now."
Why won't they just do it?
Well, John Boehner said in March he wouldn't defund Obamacare through the continuing resolution because if they attached it to the resolution they would risk "shutting down the government."
The House leadership continues voting to "repeal Obamacare" when they know full well they don't have the power to "repeal Obamacare".
Congress does, however, have the power to defund it. Is the "repeal vote" merely a ruse---something to talk about back home, while they avoid actually doing the right thing? For whatever reason?
This causes folks like us to wonder if it is lack of Conviction, Courage or Character that prevails.
I'm talking about Obamacare and how Conviction---Courage---and Character are essential qualities in those whom we place our vote and our trust on the radio this morning. Join me live at 9 AM, PDT on ACN stations or online or on your free phone app. My live program is rebroadcast each evening at 7:30 PM, PDT.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.