AUGUST 28, 2013
Threat of a government shutdown exposes Obamacare as a 'bad law,' says AMAC
New poll shows Americans are willing to risk disruption to defund the law
BOHEMIA, New York – A new poll shows that the American public may be willing to risk the disruption of a government shutdown in order to achieve serious cuts in spending-particularly spending on Obamacare.
The Association of Mature American Citizens asked members and visitors to its Web site [www.amac.us] to vote on the issue. More than 6,000 individuals participated in the survey and the vast majority - 97% of them - said they want federal government spending cuts, including the defunding of Obamacare. Only four percent said shutting down the government is not an option.
Prominent Republicans, including Senators Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, have been campaigning "vigorously" for Congress to vote against funding the government beyond October 1st, day one of the 2014 federal budget. Their aim is to defund Obamacare. But, they are being challenged by GOP colleagues who believe it is the wrong thing to do. They argue that Obamacare already has funding and that the Obama administration is ready to blame the Republicans for hardships resulting from a shutdown, according to Dan Weber, AMAC president.
"Even the noted Conservative political commentator, Charles Krauthammer, chimed in, calling the threat 'really dumb'," he said, noting that the number of Republican lawmakers who are opposed to the shutdown threat is growing.
But grass roots support for the challenge is growing, too, as the AMAC survey indicates. And, that may change the dynamics drastically in the weeks to come. It's being reported that the issue is top of the agenda at Town Hall meetings this summer and that constituent pressure may impact the final vote.
As Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska put it, the notion of a shutdown is "kind of getting out beyond just the tea party. It's starting to get to regular people that are very frustrated with Obamacare. That's why it's getting some legs here in the House."
Weber said that "Internet blogs are abuzz" with news that voters are jumping on the shutdown bandwagon. For example, the American Thinker site reported this week that lawmakers, those in favor of the threat and those who are against it, are getting an earful this summer from voters in their districts.
Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla), who is adamantly against the tactic, said his district meetings have been "challenging." He said: "I'm getting quite a bit about having a shutdown over ObamaCare."
Indiana Congressman Marlin Stutzman acknowledged that: "I have not heard, 'don't shut down the government over ObamaCare. I have heard, 'this law is not ready for primetime, and we need to do anything we can to stop it'."
Meanwhile, Texas Rep. Michael Burgess admitted that he is leaning toward backing the shutdown threat as a result of his Town Hall experiences during the recess. He said that at one meeting there was virtually unanimous support for the shutdown maneuver. "I'm hearing a lot of anger that is right beneath the surface, ready to erupt."
AMAC chief Weber concluded that "while it is a toss-up whether Congress will follow through with a shutdown threat, come September, Obamacare is at the center of the controversy. And, this exercise in brinksmanship is exposing it for what it is – a bad law."