GOP Risks Federal Government Shutdown in Obamacare Defunding Vote

In their ongoing effort to completely destroy the U.S. economy, The House GOP just pushed through a resolution with language that would defund Obamacare. Having already told House Republicans that he would not sign any legislation that would defund the popular healthcare law (assuming it even made it through a Senate vote prior to that), the Obama White House lashed out at Republicans today via Twitter and other social media saying “They actually did it: The House just passed a resolution that risks a government shutdown to defund Obamacare. #EnoughAlready.”

Unlike previous attempts to overturn Obamacare (which have surpassed forty attempts at millions of dollars per attempt), the language in this bill is a bit different as the legislation it’s tied to is critical to the ongoing functioning of the entire federal government. The House GOP has irresponsibly tied the two together in order to hold the nation hostage. To give you an idea of how frequently this “nuclear” option is used, the last full government shutdown occurred in 1996 (almost two decades ago).

Tying unrelated language to vital legislation is nothing new for Congress. However, in the wake of the multitude of GOP legislators that cried foul over pork contained in a certain recent hurricane relief bill, the chutzpah they’ve demonstrated in their current hostage situation is simultaneously hypocritical and unsurprising. 

What are some of the consequences of this Republican maneuver? “If this legislation is not enacted and we embark on a government shutdown, the consequences are severe: Our brave men and women of our military don’t get paid; our recovering economy will take a huge hit, and our most vulnerable citizens — including the elderly and veterans who rely on critical government programs and services — could be left high and dry,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY).

At the risk of sounding accusatory, the GOP (it would seem) would rather drive the entire country off yet another fiscal cliff and doom us all rather than admit they lost the Obamacare battle at the Supreme Court level. They’d rather harm active military service members and veterans rather than pass a clean bill without defunding language. They’d rather play hyper-fringe politics rather than compromise and keep our government functioning. It’s a sad and telling narrative about the state of the current GOP.

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.


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