Republicans divided

Health law separates potential GOP 2016 contenders.
Associated Press
Sep 22, 2013

A clear divide over the health care law separates the emerging field of potential GOP candidates for the 2016 presidential race, previewing the battles ahead as they try to rebuild their party and seize the White House.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz says he will fight "with every breath" to stop President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement, even if that means shutting down parts of the federal government. It's an approach that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush calls "quite dicey" politically for Republicans. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky says flatly that a shutdown is "a dumb idea."

"I'm acknowledging we probably can't defeat or get rid of Obamacare," Paul told reporters Saturday while attending a Republican conference in Michigan. "But by starting with our position of not funding it maybe we get to a position where we make it less bad."

Allied on the other side with Cruz are U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and others who say they are making a principled stand, willing to oppose the law at all costs.

Then there are those taking what they call a pragmatic approach by accepting the law, if grudgingly, and moving on. This group includes Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who says a shutdown would violate the public trust.

"The government we have should work, so that's why I don't believe we should shut the government down," Walker told reporters at the Michigan conference.

The Republican-controlled House passed a short-term spending plan Friday that would continue funding government operations through mid-December while withholding money for the health law.

Some GOP lawmakers also advocate holding back on increasing the nation's borrowing limit, which could result in a first-ever default, unless the law is brought down.

Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to scold "a faction on the far right" of the Republican Party, and he said he would not allow "anyone to harm this country's reputation or threaten to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people, just to make an ideological point."

While attending the Michigan conference, Paul said Republicans could force a vote in both houses of Congress, then negotiate changes to legislation in a joint conference committee. But, he added, time is running out.

Less than one-quarter of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, about the same as approve of Republicans in Congress, according to recent national polls. Democrats poll slightly higher, and large majorities disapprove of the work of both.

Yet, only about a third of Americans say they approve of the health care act.

Christie has accepted for his state key provisions of the law, yet campaigned on behalf of candidates who support dismantling it. He has taken no public position on whether to fight the law to the point of government shutdown.

"He is either unwilling or unable to speak up against these guys," Democratic National Committee spokesman Mike Czin said.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, hosting the conference where Paul, Walker and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal spoke Saturday, said a shutdown "reflects poorly on the national political culture."

Bush was more pointed. He said Republicans would be guilty of overplaying their hand if they passed a spending measure that did not include money for the health care law.

Noting that Republicans control only the U.S. House in Washington, or "one-half of one-third of the leverage" in the capital, Bush said Wednesday in Washington there "needs to be an understanding of that, or, politically, it gets quite dicey" for the GOP.

Cruz said concerns that voters would blame Republicans for a shutdown are unfounded.

"If history is a guide, the fear of deep political repercussions — I don't think the data bear that out," he said.

Republican lawmakers and Democratic President Bill Clinton failed to agree on spending in 1995, which resulted in two partial government shutdowns.

Clinton was re-elected the following year, but Cruz noted that Republicans held the majorities in both the House and Senate in 1996 and 1998, and collaborated with Clinton on spending cuts and other changes that preceded economic expansion.

Paul and Jindal are attempting to create some daylight between themselves and their would-be rivals. Paul may consider a shutdown dumb but says the fight over the health care law is worth having.

"I am for the debate, I am for fighting," Paul said. "I don't want to shut the government down, though. I think that's a bad solution."

Jindal, who opposes the health law, has said Republicans need to be "more than the party of 'no'" but that it's a bad idea to take any option off the table, including government shutdown.

"I don't think as Republicans we should be negotiating with ourselves," he said in an Associated Press interview, but stopped short of criticizing Paul for his comments.

___

Associated Press writer Philip Elliott in Washington contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments

There you go again

Republicans are not nearly as divided as the president has divided this nation! His speech at the Black Caucus was a blatant lie- accusing Repubs of not wanting healthcare. Obama continues to spew lies and the uninformed people believe his bologna. So sad that we have elected such a person to "lead" us through these tough times.

coasterfan

Nope. The most divisive, polarizing entities in America - by far - are Fox News and the tea party

Contango

Re: "The most divisive, polarizing entities in America,"

So if everyone engaged in lockstep thinking and agreed to the Progressive ideology and agenda, this would be a PERFECT socio-economic world?

Hopefully, the central planners have budgeted for gulags.

coasterfan

No, but it would sure beat the living hell the Extreme Right would bring. Anyone want to go back to 2007-2008?

Contango

Re: "No,"

So other than paying lip service, where does political and economic diversity of thought and action exist in the Progressive central planning command-and-control model?

"2007-2008?"

You're obfuscating.

Still stuck in that time-warp eh?

I seem to recall that the Dems controlled Congress. So in your mind they were wholly blameless?

An interesting piece I read this morning. Check it out:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/bu...

Contango

Re: "2007-2008?"

And WHERE are we today? Too Big to Fail has become Too BIGGER to Fail.

Warren Buffett: “The Fed is the greatest hedge fund in history,”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20...

As I've written MANY times: Without the Fed, this economy would largely be in the toilet.

Hedge funds never go bust do they??? :)

deertracker

What was the blatant lie?

abigbear

If Obamacare is the law of the land, let’s enforce it. For EVERYONE. No exemptions and no waivers for anyone. That includes unions and our representatives.

Contango

Get those in Congress on the record: Are you for Obama☭are or against it?

Let the 2014 mid-term Congressional elections help determine the short-term future of the U.S. - authoritarianism or freedom.

The Big Dog's back

What Comrade pooh, no Putin praise this morning?

deertracker

It's coming BD, give it some time.

The Big Dog's back

You have the Teathuglicans and Republicans.

Darwin's choice

If the economy under Obama is so great, why are we throwing 85 billion every month into the black hole? Democrat!

deertracker

Earth to Dagwood: the economy is not great and no one said it was. It is better than it was under the W administration!

JudgeMeNot

And the usual flock of brain dead obamabots show up to dismiss the lies... shocker...

shucks

JudgeMeNot is a waste of time and a troll.

Contango

If the ACA is called "Obamacare," then why isn't Medicare referred to as Johnsoncare and Soc. Security as Roosevelt Security?

"Debate enshrines the political term 'Obamacare'":

"'Obamacare is on my list,' Romney said, turning to Obama: 'I apologize, Mr. President. I use that term with all respect.'"

"'I like it,' Obama replied."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/th...

Yep, the Narcissist-in-Chief LOVES the sound of his own name.

The Big Dog's back

Because rush, sean, glenn, briethbart, drudge, etc. weren't around back then spewing their racial hatred. Also, we didn't have a Black President. Need I say more Comrade pooh?

rottnrog

Agree

repubs idea of health care is let the poor and old die since most of them vote Democratic !!!

Contango

Re: "old"

According to recent polls a majority of BOTH independent voters and seniors are against Obama☭are.

For one: Obama☭are attempts to slow medical costs by reducing the amounts of Medicare reimbursement payments.

This is the reason Cleveland Clinic is giving for their projected layoffs.

"Citing Obamacare, Cleveland Clinic to Cut $300M, Warns of Layoff":

http://www.usnews.com/news/artic...

SamAdams

Ironic, then, that Obamacare would punish the old the most with its rationing. The poor won't do well, either, since funding is being cut for Medicaid under Obamacare. And who supports Obamacare in Congress? It's not the Republicans! They have plenty of problems, mind you, but this nightmare of a healthcare "plan" isn't one of them!

Darwin's choice

Defer,deflect,deny......

So what about that economy, democrat?

Also, that would be HALF black, and how convient.

rottnrog

Defer,deflect,deny......

WOW, what you just did !! LMAO

Darwin's choice

Really? What is Obamacare rottnrog? A tax. So, with the economy in the tank, more Americans out of work, and/or welfare at historic levels, who exactly is going to pay this "tax"?

shucks

Darwin's choice is a broken record and a dumb azz.

deertracker

Any more questions pooh?

Sam

New York Times "If you work for Walgreens, you may want to start looking for a new job.

Walgreens announced it will be laying off 160,000 employees because of Obamacare. The largest drugstore chain in the U.S. cannot afford to cover employees’ coverage under the new Obamacare exchanges.

Walgreens decided these layoffs were necessary to buffer the company from the rising healthcare costs, which will double over the next 25 years."

The Big Dog's back

So your OK with the rest of us paying for their healthcare like we do now?

Contango

Re: "So your OK with the rest of us paying for their healthcare like we do now?"

So WHO is gonna pay for it under Obama☭are?

The health insurance exchange premiums aren't gonna be subsidized?

WHO pays for those?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/ne...

The Big Dog's back

BUSINESS! Like they should. We don't share in their profits so why should we pay for their expenses?

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