Topics: House of Representatives

Morning Examiner: Conservatives unite to fight Obamacare funding

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Over 50 conservative leaders signed a letter Monday, urging House Republicans to include language “fully defunding Obamacare” when they consider upcoming legislation to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2014.

Power of the purse
“The ultimate ‘power of the purse’ still resides in the House,” the letter, organized by Heritage Action CEO Mike Needham, reads, “and the House will soon act to fund the government. In doing so, the House should include language ensuring that no more taxpayer dollars can be used to implement Obamacare.”

The letter’s signatories reads like a who’s who of the conservative movement including, American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, Family Research Council Senior Vice President Tom McClusky, Redstate.com Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson, Tea Pary Patriots Co-Founder Jenny Beth Martin, Independent Women’s Forum President Heather, and FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe Higgins.

You can’t win if you don’t fight
Republican establishment figures like Karl Rove, however, are still squeamish about putting up a fight against Obamacare, despite Obama’s lawless non-implementation of the legislation’s employer mandate and income verification requirements. Establishment Republicans believe the party has a huge advantage heading into the 2014 elections and they would rather play prevent defense until next November instead of going on offense against the Obama administration.

But conservative activists believe Republican voters will stay home if their leaders refuse to fight. “No one is going accept a pre-planned endgame because we don’t know what is politically possible unless the GOP fights for every inch possible between now and Sept. 30,” Heritage Action communications director Dan Holler told the Washington Examiner. “If Republicans spend the next two months making the case to the American people that we need to defund Obamacare, we could achieve a lot.”

It’s about accountability
Few signatories to the letter believe Obama will sign a full defunding of Obamacare, but any concessions from the White House on the employer and individual mandates or the income verification requirements would be considered a win. Considering how difficult it would be to mount a successful lawsuit against Obama’s selective enforcement of the law before January 1, fighting Obamacare through the CR is the only meaningful check on executive malfeasance Republicans have left.

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In Other News
The New York Times, Big-Name G.O.P. Donors Urge Members of Congress to Back Immigration Overhaul: More than 100 Republican donors — many of them prominent names in their party’s establishment — sent a letter to Republican members of Congress on Tuesday urging them to support an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.
The Wall Street Journal, Cities Fill Thinned-Out Public Payrolls: Cities across the U.S. are starting to hire new teachers, firefighters and police officers as a deep and prolonged slide in local-government employment appears to have bottomed out four years after the recession ended.
The New York Times, A City Invokes Seizure Laws to Save Homes: With recent gains in home prices doing little for some blighted neighborhoods, Richmond, Calif., is about to become the first city in the nation to try a novel way to stop foreclosures.
Pew Research, Widening Regional Divide over Abortion Law: While the balance of opinion toward abortion nationwide has remained largely steady over the past 20 years, there are widening disparities in public attitudes on the issue across different regions of the country.
Palm Beach Post, Individual health insurance rates to rise 30-40% next year: Health insurance rates in Florida will rise by 5 to 20 percent in the small-group market, and 30 to 40 percent in the individual market, as the Affordable Care Act’s guaranteed coverage rule takes effect next year, Florida’s insurance commissioner said Monday.

Lefty Playbook
Brad DeLong accuses Howard Dean of selling out for attacking Obamacare’s IPAB.
Andrew Sullivan says Pope Francis has “changed the entire atmosphere in the Vatican toward gay people.”
Josh Eidelson reports on growing fast food strikes.

Righty Playbook
Kathryn Jean Lopez says Pope Francis said nothing new yesterday.
Yuval Levin on libertarian populism.
Veronique de Rugy on the failure of Obama’s mortgage bailout program.

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