House Conservatives to Boehner: Defund Obamacare Now

By Michael W. Chapman | July 11, 2012 | 5:45pm EDT

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) (AP Photo)

( – Although the House of Representatives, dominated by Republicans, voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, on Wednesday, at least 80 House Republicans so far have signed a letter calling upon Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the House GOP leaders to halt any future funding of the health care law given that the House controls most appropriations.

The letter, signed by Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Allen West (Fla.), Trent Franks (Ariz.), Louie Gohmert (Tex.), and 74 other House members, was sent out by the House Republican Study Committee and the House Tea Party Caucus.

The letter, in part, states:

“Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor,

" ... We appreciate your willingness to schedule a vote on the full repeal of ObamaCare.  We should continue efforts to repeal the law in its entirety this year, next year, and until we are successful.  However, in the meantime, there is more we can do in Congress.

“Since much of the implementation of ObamaCare is a function of the discretionary appropriations process, and since most of the citizens we represent believe that ObamaCare should never go into effect, we urge you not to bring to the House floor in the 112th Congress any legislation that provides or allows funds to implement ObamaCare through the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, or any other federal entity.  We also urge you to take legislative steps necessary to immediately rescind all ObamaCare-implementation funds.

House Speaker John Boehner shakes hands with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. (AP Photo)

“In Federalist No. 58, James Madison wrote that the 'power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon ... for obtaining a redress of every grievance....'  We thank you for your consideration and look forward to working closely with you to address defunding one of the largest grievances in our time and to restore patient-centered healthcare in America.”

In an e-mail announcing the letter, Wesley A. Goodman, director of Conservative Coalitions and State Outreach at the House Republican Study Committee, said, “We have the ‘power of the purse.’  A Republican House should not bring any bill to the floor that funds the implementation of Obamacare, and we should take every action to rescind money out the door.”

The letter is still in circulation and potentially gathering more signatures. The House Republican Study Committee said it anticipates sending the letter to Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor at the end of this week.

In the Obamacare vote today, three Democrats joined with 242 Republicans for repeal while 189 Democrats voted against repeal.

Back in November 2011, spoke with Rep. King (R-Iowa) about the House GOP cutting funding to Obamacare and he said he did not think it would happen because the House Republican leadership is afraid of a showdown with Senate Democrats and the President.

An early draft of the 2,000-plus-page health care bill. (AP Photo)

"We didn't bring up the maximum leverage because the decision was made by leadership to avoid the prospect of a showdown with the president or Harry Reid that could result in a potential shutdown of government," said King.

“I think the American public would have sided with us, and if we had held our ground on shutting off the funding to Obamacare in particular, as well as funding Planned Parenthood, because it puts the president and Harry Reid and the Democrats in the position of having to defend Obamacare as more important than all of the rest of the functions of government combined,” he said.

“They will not win that argument, but we were not as a body willing to make it in a place where we had a chance to succeed legislatively,” the Iowa conservative added.

“If the repeal of Obamacare went up on the floor, every Republican would vote for the repeal of it," King told   "Cutting all funding, same thing -- especially if it was written by the Speaker or the Majority Leader and, of course, we don’t expect that will happen.

When asked about the GOP leaders halting the funding of Obamacare in February 2011, Boehner did not directly answer.

House Speaker John Boehner (AP Photo)

At a Feb. 11, 2011 press conference, asked Speaker Boehner, “Majority Leader Cantor says that the continuing resolution that comes out of the House will not fund Obamacare. In order for that to pass, the Senate and the president will have to agree to defund the program.  If they don’t, either the GOP will have to cave in and fund Obamacare or the government will shut down. So, given that fact, is there any way that the House majority led by you will fund ObamaCare after March 4th?"

Boehner said,  “We are opposed to Obamacare.  We have voted to repeal it.  That also included $700 million in tax hikes, about $2.6 trillion in new spending. We’re going to continue to take all the actions that we can to make sure that we do not ruin the best health care delivery system in the world, bankrupt our nation and, most importantly, get in the way of job creation in America."

MRC Store