Republicans in the House of Representatives broke with tradition today and actually worked on a Friday, because they had very, very important business to conduct. Friday was the Day Republicans Pretended To Defund Obamacare by passing a short-term budget resolution funding the government but pretending they actually defunded the Affordable Care Act because they want to "save Americans from Obamacare."
Oh, please. For most Americans, our family included, it cannot come soon enough. We're sick to death of paying nearly $2,000 a month between medications and insurance premiums. We're ready to drop that bill down to around $500 a month, which is what it will be on January 1, 2014.
After their not-so-historic (and entirely predictable) vote, they held a little happy rally celebrating how they'd managed to shirk their duty by sending the whole mess to the Senate to clean up, since we have elected officials who are determined to shirk their Constitutional duty by making this ridiculous "stand" against something that is law and won't change. Like two-year olds, they don't listen when Harry Reid tells them it's futile, they don't listen when the White House warns them in advance any provisions to defund the ACA will be vetoed and the GOP held responsible, and they don't seem to be able to reason very well either. Actually, even two-year olds stand down at some point, but not these yahoos.
However, this time the president isn't waiting on them to make fools of themselves. He went out on Friday with his own message. President Obama expects this provision to be stripped out and the whole banana sent back to the House for a humiliating vote where they approve the Senate version rather than shut down the government. But he is still concerned that the whacko Republicans might actually force the country into default over the debt ceiling right after that.
They want to repeal all that, and they’re saying, we’re going to hold our breath, and if you don’t repeal it — which I’ve already said I’m not going to do — we’re going to send the economy into default. They will send our economy into a tailspin, just like Speaker Boehner said. They want to threaten default just to make sure that tens of millions of Americans continue not to have health care.
Defunding Affordable Health Care would rob 25 million Americans of the chance to get health care coverage. It would cut basic health care services for tens of millions of seniors on Medicare already. That’s what House Republicans are fighting for.
And now they’ve gone beyond just holding Congress hostage, they’re holding the whole country hostage. One Republican senator called shutting down the government over the Affordable Care Act “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” I agree with him. But that’s the strategy they’re pursuing. House of Representatives just voted on it today.
Now, I tell you what, Missouri. The American people have worked too hard for too long, digging out of a real crisis just to let politicians in Washington cause another crisis.
This is the United States of America. We’re not some banana republic. This is not a deadbeat nation. We don’t run out on our tab. We’re the world’s bedrock investment. The entire world looks to us to make sure the world economy is stable. We can’t just not pay our bills. And even threatening something like that is the height of irresponsibility.
You'd think Missouri wouldn't be especially friendly, but his audience was receptive, especially when he got to the part about defunding the Affordable Care Act. Republicans don't seem to understand that Obamacare under any other name is called affordable access to health care for millions who don't have it right now. That name is one that polls well, which terrifies Republicans, because they understand that once it's in effect, people will actually like it.
Also, a memo to Chuck Todd: Tell me again how the White House isn't selling their message, please? I saw lots of reports about Republicans' vote today, but I really had to search to find this speech, even though I saw it live.