Friday, March 1, came and went, despite a steady drumbeat of drastic warnings about the impact of the sequester on jobs and economic growth. Even the financial markets reacted with a yawn when on the day before the sequester was to take effect the Dow Jones industrial average closed within 25 points of its all-time high reached in October of 2007.
As to lawmakers, they closed up shop on Thursday, February 28, resigned to the idea that the sequester spending cuts would take effect sometime before midnight Friday, March 1.
Obama's last minute meeting with selected congressional leaders on March 1 fell flat on its face, with administration officials insisting that the path to any compromise lies in "balanced" approach that replaces the cuts in part with higher taxes.
As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a recent speech of the Senate floor: "Look the American people will simply not accept replacing spending cuts agreed to both both parties with tax hikes."
When legislators return from their President's Day recess, attention will be directed toward the next financial crises set to befall this nation on March 27, when Congress must pass another continuing resolution (CR), the date current government funding expires.
The question that should be on the mind of all concerned Americans is, If there was such animosity expressed by Obama and Democrats over the 2013 $85.4 billion of sequester cuts (a sliver of our nation's 2013 budget of $3.8 trillion, amounting to cuts of 2.5 cents on every dollar or 1/3 of 1% of our 2013 domestic economy), what hope is there that a compromise can be reached by March 27 to curtail the size, scope and cost of government to prevent a government shutdown?
Conservatives in the U.S. House have a bargaining chip in the March 27 continuing resolution deadline -- which is viewed as must-pass legislation as the House controls the purse strings -- with it power to defundObamacare. Without the House passing a spending bill, Obama is unable to fund government.
There are those who say that Obamacare is already the law of the land. Although many provisions are now the law, many of the law's most damaging and irreversible provisions do not take effect until 2014.
Consider the damage already done. According to the Congressional budget Office, Obamacare will force seven million Americans out of their existing health care.
As noted in a Heritage Foundation report of February 19, 2013 by Katherine Rosario, "Defunding ObamacareBefore It's Too Late":
"It will cost the American people an estimated $2.6 trillion over ten years, increasing the federal government's health spending by 15 percent. The window of opportunity to stop the implementation of these massive new subsidies is closing. On October 1, 2013, open enrollment begins for the federally backed health care exchanges. On January 1, 2014, new money from Washington will begin flowing to states and individuals, all but ensuring that these new entitlements will become a permanent fixture of life in America."
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, noted on Tuesday, February 24, at a Senate Budget Committee hearing that the Affordable Care Act will increase the budget deficit by $6.2 trillion over the next 75 years.
The Obama administration will predictably argue that the CR is not the appropriate legislative vehicle to defund Obamacare. Of course it is Obama's goal (a political ploy) to defer any defunding until after all the damage has been done.
The House must take the lead in this fight now. Congress must not approve the forthcoming March 27 continuing budget resolution unless it defunds Oabmacare, that is, if they genuinely believe Obamacare is a threat to the very fabric of this nation and the American people.
Vital is that conservative legislators in Congress not get cold feet!
Putting all the eggs in one basket is never a good idea. We must call our Congressmen, urging them to use every legislative vehicle possible to defund, delay and ultimately repeal Obamacare, using their Congressional power to defund Obamacare in their next must-pass CR spending bill.
The following was cited by Nathanael Yellis of the Heritage Foundation on February 26: Use our call tool to urge your Representative to defund Obamacare in the CR. Please make the call and start spreading the word.