From the Office of Senator Ted Cruz
Since many establishment politicians and members of the pundit class continue to
second-guess efforts to defund Obamacare, we offer our take.
The defund plan produced tangible results that create both immediate and long-term benefits for the country and the conservative cause. First, it intensified the nation’s focus on Obamacare. Second, it energized Americans by showing there are people in
1) The defund Obamacare plan dramatically intensified the nation’s focus on the law’s failures. The effort must continue because every day we learn more about how Obamacare is hurting more American families and our economy.
> Obamacare’s failures become clearer each day. President Obama promised Americans that their premiums would go down, taxes would stay low, millions of jobs would be created, and if they liked their healthcare plans, they could keep them. Instead, premiums are rising, taxes are higher, the economy is sputtering, and people are losing their plans.
- “Health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies. The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1.”—“Thousands get health insurance cancellation notices,” NBC News, October 19, 2013.
- When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat. Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”—Letter from union leaders James P. Hoffa, Joseph, Joseph Hansen and D. Taylor to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2013.
- Many liberals and members of the media recognize Obamacare is incapable of operating in its current form and are calling for a delay or other changes.
o See Exhibit A: Liberals and members of the media calling for delay
> The primary goal of the defund plan – to provide meaningful relief for the millions of Americans being harmed by Obamacare – was not accomplished by this “deal.” The final deal contained a no-strings-attached debt ceiling increase that immediately plunged the country past the $17 trillion debt threshold, funded the entire government as is (including Obamacare), funded pet projects for powerful members, and created yet another fiscal showdown on January 15.
- “The most Republicans could salvage from the fight was that they didn’t give up the budget sequesters. But neither did they lock them in. Indeed, the stopgap spending bill, which ends Jan. 15, was timed to coincide with the next round of sequesters, giving Democrats another chance to undo them.” –“Back in Business: Obamacare undented as shutdown ends,” Washington Times, October 16, 2013.
2. The defund plan energized Americans all across the country who have the power to make DC listen and change
> The power of the DC establishment is crumbling. It’s no longer acceptable for a politician to claim they are fighting for change at home while voting to keep up business-as-usual in
- “Just 19% say that they trust the government in Washington to do what is right just about always or most of the time…”—“Trust in government nears record low,” Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, October 18, 2013.
- “Conservatives have been fed up with the type of double-dealing and games that have gone on within the Republican establishment during the last decade, in which groups are pitted against others in legislative fights to pad the bottom lines of so-called Republican leaders… Unlike ten years ago, conservatives now have the Internet and social media to mobilize against the Republican establishment. They do not need to rely on Republican gatekeepers to find candidates to support or oppose.” – “Battle between establishment and conservative Republicans,” Tony Lee, Breitbart, October 20, 2013
> Americans are energized and want to be heard. Nearly 2.1 million Americans have signed a petition demanding that Obamacare be defunded and are eagerly engaging in the political process. Countless more are calling Capitol Hill offices, sending emails, and making their voices heard online. This is a healthy sign of a vibrant citizenry committed to its country.
- “I’ve not seen this level of intensity since we fought to keep Obamacare from passing,” said JoAnn Fleming, executive director of Grassroots America, a group of conservative activists based in Tyler, Tex. “I’m getting calls from people who are not in our network, saying, ‘Can we do something?’ It’s a full-time job just trying to get rid of all my e-mails.”—“Obamacare fight reenergizes the Tea Party Movement,”
3. Despite claims made by the left, members of the media, and many other members of the DC establishment – it was Harry Reid & President Obama, not Senator Cruz & the House Republicans who forced a government shutdown.
> President Obama is responsible for shutting down the government because he refused to negotiate with the House of Representatives to keep the government open. President Obama issued 15 veto threats to bills the House of Representatives passed, with significant bipartisan support, to re-open the government and fund vital government services, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the national parks.
o See Exhibit B: House-Passed Bills to Re-Open Government and Fund Vital Services
> President Obama specifically supported these priorities in remarks to the public; yet, he issued veto threats against them, blatantly putting his political agenda above the needs of the American people:
- “Air traffic controllers, prison guards, those who are with border control -- our Border Patrol will remain on their posts, but their paychecks will be delayed until the government reopens. NASA will shut down almost entirely, but
4. Republicans now have a model for winning – listen to the American people, stand for principled causes, and quit waiting until the next election to do what should be done today.
> The House listened to the American people, as evidenced by the passage of bills to fund the government and defund Obamacare.
- “We’ve got a lot of divergent opinion in the caucus, and the key to any leadership job is to listen.” –Speaker John Boehner, “House GOP going ahead with bill to defund Obamacare,” The Hill, September 18, 2013.
> The House remained committed to the defund strategy by holding firm and passing bills to re-open the government and fund essential services. The House passed 16 measures to re-open the government and fund vital services; gaining a total of 678 Democrat votes. The Senate never acted on these measures. Two additional bills were made law, demonstrating it was possible all along to fund vital priorities members of both parties support.
- A bill that provided funding to pay members of the Armed Services, civilian support personnel and contractors at the Department of Defense, passed the House on September 29th, unanimously passed the Senate and was signed into law by the President on September 30th.
- A bill that provided funding for death benefits for deceased military service members unanimously passed he House and Senate and was signed into law by the President on October 10th.
> The Establishment’s strategy of waiting for a successful election cycle before working to stop Obamacare is an unacceptable option.
- “If the defund plan was delusional, the GOP establishment’s ‘repeal Obamacare by winning elections’ alternative is delusional squared. Inertia is a powerful non-motivator. It is always extremely tempting to avoid the hard thing that must be done now by rationalizing that we’ll have both the capability and the stomach to do hard things at some indeterminate future time.
- “That is the main appeal of the GOP-establishment strategy: It is outlandish, but unlike defund/delay, it is hard to disprove in the present because its impossible assumptions are conveniently imagined to occur several years from now, in a brighter and shinier future.
- “To buy it, you first have to believe that the GOP is suddenly going to become an electoral juggernaut. Mind you, we are talking about Republicans who have won the popular vote in a presidential election only once since 1988; who are rapidly losing the confidence of the conservative base that gave the GOP the historic midterm victory in 2010; and whose current priorities include a mass legalization of (Democrat-leaning) illegal immigrants that would make it increasingly difficult for Republicans to win elections in the future.
- “We are to believe, moreover, that this electoral juggernaut is poised to take off in the cycle right after the GOP lost to Obama and lost congressional seats despite high unemployment and no economic growth.” –“The Art of the Impossible,” National Review, Andrew C. McCarthy, October 19, 2013.
> Conservatives win when they present a principled, clear alternative to the liberal agenda.