Following the wishes of their constituent who sent them to Washington, D.C. to repeal the scourge known as ObamaCare, Republican House members have voted 39 times to straight-up repeal ObamaCare, with all measures dying in a Democratically controlled Senate.
A critical window of opportunity exists to stop the flow of funding for ObamaCare from now until October 1st when the new fiscal year begins. During the same window the President must pass bills to fund the government for the coming year.
Although Obamacare is scheduled to go into effect on January 1st of the year ahead, it is on October 1st when many things regarding ObamaCare start getting paid for such as leases for building space and salaries for investigators (not doctors). Most importantly people can voluntarily sign up for the exchanges, meaning that an estimated 41 million people will get a new benefit from the government. Have you ever heard of trying to take away a benefit or any part of one once firmly in place?
Regarding ObamaCare and the defunding of it, there has been much talk among Republicans over the last several weeks about using a Continuing Resolution to accomplish this deed, but what is meant by a Continuing Resolution? Because an annual budget hasn't been passed for a number of years -- Democrats insist on tax increases and Republicans insist on spending cuts and neither side has a majority -- the government is running on a series of temporary budgets called Continuing Resolutions. The Continuing Resolution to fund government must be passed on or before September 30.
Cantor's Plan supported by House leadership
In an effort to appease House conservatives and their wish to defund ObamaCare, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) devised a House plan that amounted to a ruse (trick) out of fear that should a government shutdown occur it would be spun by the media as the GOP's fault.
Typical of how things work in Washington, D.C. when Congress can vote on something yet the vote doesn't amount to a hill of beans, Cantor's plan was to have House members vote on a bill that would fund the government without funding ObamaCare, enabling congressmen to claim they did the right thing when reporting back home to their constituents.
Tucked within Cantor's bill was a plan stipulating that in case the Senate didn't pass the first proposal to defund ObamaCare, the second proposal would present a backup budget that would include ObamaCare spending and further set spending at the same rate as before, essentially giving the power of the purse to the Senate. Just a small overlooked detail: By law all spending bills MUST originate in the House.
Obviously Cantor's plan (really the leadership plan) didn't go over well with House conservative Republicans resulting in an overwhelming backlash. Cantor's plan was to be brought to a vote on Thursday, September 12th, but Speaker Boehner, unable to get the 217 votes he needed, had to pull Cantor's plan and delay a vote on his proposal.
Introduction of Graves House Plan
Meanwhile on Thursday, September 12, another proposal was introduced by Representative Tom Graves (R-GA) and 42 of his colleagues as an alternative to Cantor's proposal. The Graves plan would defund ObamaCare while funding the government. But time is of essence as October 1st is quickly approaching when ObamaCare's insurance exchanges open and the overhaul of our health care system takes root.
The number of House members co-sponsoring the Graves proposal constitutes a significant block in the House who outright oppose Cantor's plan. It also creates a big problem for GOP leadership who can only afford 16 Republican defections on any bill that is solidly opposed by Democrats.
Regarding our six Illinois Republican congressmen, not one of them has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Graves proposal.
Already the new Graves proposal to defund ObamaCare has attracted conservative advocacy groups, among them, Club for Growth, Freedom Works, For America, and Tea Party Patriots.
Brent Bozell, For America Chairman recently said in a statement: "Congressman Graves' proposal to defund ObamaCare through 2015 is the best plan we have seen to prevent this law from taking hold."
Additionally, the chief executive officer of Heritage Action, Michael A. Needham, has encouraged all members of the House to support the Graves Plan ASAP!
The Heritage Foundation has pulled out all stops to convince the American people that now is the time to defund ObamaCare. A six-story billboard has been erected in Times Square in New York with a clear warning, ObamaCare may be hazardous to your health, where tens of thousands of people view it every day.
Part 2: Merits of the Graves Plan and the pitfalls affecting all if ignored and ObamaCare is left in tact.