President Obama may be giving three speeches this week – recycling his old proposals on a five-year-plan for manufacturing, more spending for boondoggles like high-speed rail, and stricter wage controls – but his real focus will be framing the debate for this fall’s showdown over government funding.
The federal government is now operating under a continuing resolution that was approved in March. It expires September 30, and Obama wants to portray the American economy as fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, and set for impressive growth, if only those evil Republicans would just not upset the apple cart by demanding changes in Obamacare or anything else the president has done since 2009.
Last best chance to stop Obamacare
But, as the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York notes this morning, the upcoming continuing resolution showdown could be the last big chance Republicans have to stop Obamacare before it starts.
“On [Jan. 1], the government will begin subsidizing health insurance for millions of Americans,” York writes. “When people begin receiving that entitlement, the dynamics of the Obamacare debate will change. At that point, the Republican mantra of total repeal will become obsolete. The administration will mount a huge public relations campaign to highlight individuals who have received government assistance to help them afford, say, chemotherapy, or dialysis, or some other life-saving treatment. Will Republicans advocate cutting off the funds that help pay for such care? The answer is no.”
Worth shutting the government down over
Republicans are well aware of the dynamic which is why many of them, perhaps a majority, for making it clear they will not vote for a new spending agreement unless it denies implementation funding to Obamacare. “This is our last point of leverage,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told the Washington Examiner‘s Susan Ferrechio.
Lee says he already has signatures from 15 Senate Republicans pledging to block any government funding legislation that includes money for Obamacare implementation. Lee says 65 House Republicans have also pledged their support.
A political calculation
It is no accident that Republicans have chosen to make the continuing resolution, and not the debt limit, as the hill on which they most want to fight Obamacare funding. A debt limit showdown would threaten to end payments for popular entitlement programs and face opposition from establishment, big business Republicans.
The stakes, however, are smaller during a government shutdown fight since Social Security and Medicare payments are guaranteed to go out on time and the nation’s credit rating is not involved. Plus, Obama bolstered the Republican position on the issue by announcing on July 5, that his administration would not be implementing the anti-fraud procedures for determining Obamacare subsidy eligibility, as required by law.
Republicans would seem to have a very firm good government case to stand on: no subsidization without verification. If Obama wants to shutdown the rest of the government just so he can get fraudulent Obamacare payments out the door as fast as possible, let him make that argument.
From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Monopolies are no good for consumers, not even in the woods
Sean Higgins: Even the Big Three’s boom years had to end
EXography: 19 U.S. cities have proportionately bigger workforces than bankrupted Detroit
Byron York: Are Republicans fooling themselves about Obamacare?
Susan Crabtree: Obama to travel to Florida in wake of Trayvon Martin verdict
Sean Lengell: George Miller rips House Republicans for taking farm aid
Phil Klein: Rand Paul staffer resigns amid furor over neo-Confederate sympathies
Susan Ferrechio: Lee pushing to block stopgap federal spending bill unless Obamacare funding is eliminated
Joseph Lawler: Past recessions boosted health, but not the Great Recession
Tim Mak: The busy days of immigration reform’s latest advocate, Paul Ryan
Asche Schow: NSA data collection program renewed
Tim Carney: Libertarian populism is viable and necessary
Conn Carroll: Libertarian populism rising
Charlie Spiering: Conservative talk radio lining up behind Liz Cheney
In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, First-Time Home Buyers Getting Left Behind: The U.S. housing recovery has created opportunities for investors and helped growing families trade up to bigger homes. But one group that has been lagging behind the pack: first-time home buyers.
The Wall Street Journal, A Backdoor Approach to Union Organizing: Nonprofit community groups called worker centers are helping to unionize workplaces, but they have more freedom than unions, which are constrained by national labor laws.
The New York Times, A Legal Bane of Wall Street Switches Sides: Robert S. Khuzami is following the quintessential Washington script: an influential government insider becoming a paid advocate for industries he once policed.
CNBC, Survey finds Doctors are skeptical and confused about Obamacare: A new survey shows that an overwhelming percentage of physicians don’t believe that their states’ new health insurance exchanges will meet the Oct. 1 deadline for those key Obamacare marketplaces to begin enrolling the uninsured.
Think Progress attacks Rush Limbaugh for saying White People Shouldn’t Feel Guilty About Slavery
BuzzFeed asks Why Won’t Obama Pay His Interns?
Nate Cohn on the Uncanny Similarity Between the Zimmerman and 2012 Exit Polls
J.D. Tuccille explains how an Obamacare Loophole Could Leave Doctors Holding the Bag for Unpaid Claims.
Peter Wallison blames Dodd-Frank for the weak recovery.
Robert Costa examines whether or not Rubio can survive his immigration stumble.