POLITICS: PennAve

Amid Syria debate, Republicans continue drumbeat against Obamacare

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Obamacare,Jobs,Labor,Republican Party,Mitch McConnell,Health Care,Rand Paul,Ted Cruz,PennAve,Economy,Sean Lengell

While the debate over whether the U.S. should intervene in Syria's blood civil war dominates Washington, Republicans are keeping the drumbeat alive against President Obama's health care law ahead of a looming enrollment deadline.

Congressional GOP leaders and party conference committees on both sides of the Capitol this week kept up their daily summer-long practice of firing off anti-Obamacare news releases, tweets and other missives as states and the federal government face an Oct. 1 deadline to start their health insurance "exchanges" — marketplaces that allow Americans without insurance or those meeting income caps to buy health insurance coverage.

In responding to Friday's August jobs report from the Labor Department that showed only modest employment gains, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., blamed the tepid economic recovery on the "devastating effects of Obamacare."

"While the president has offered a one-year delay of Obamacare for big businesses, we will continue to fight to ensure that working middle-class families also get that same relief," Cantor said. "Obamacare must be repealed or we will continue to witness depressed job growth."

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, divisively mentioned "Obamacare" three times in his four-sentence response to the jobs report.

"I will continue to fight to protect American jobs by repealing and replacing Obamacare," he said.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has used town hall meetings in recent weeks to rally support for his push to defund the president's health care law. The majority of his two dozen Twitter posts this week were devoted to his cause.

"Every day is a new freak show when it comes to Obamacare and figuring out exactly what we have to do," he tweeted Friday.

Cruz is scheduled to join other conservative GOP lawmakers, including Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah, and Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, at an anti-Obamacare rally Tuesday on the West Lawn of the Capitol.

The Senate Republican Conference sent reporters an email Friday featuring links to several news articles highlighting what it says are the adverse consequences of the health care law, such as "higher [health insurance] premiums, fewer jobs and more broken promises."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee also issued a Friday news release dedicated partly to slamming Obamacare.

Even some Republicans who oppose the law have been blasted by conservative activists for not pushing hard enough for its repeal.

The Senate Conservatives Fund is running TV attacks ads this week in Kentucky accusing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of "refusing to lead on defunding Obamacare."

“Obamacare starts in October but Congress can stop its funding,” the ad’s announcer says. “What’s Mitch McConnell doing? Nothing."

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