By Sen. Ted Cruz
Just a few weeks ago the Washington establishment said the Republican-led House of Representatives could never pass a funding bill that would keep the government open while defunding Obamacare. They were wrong.
All across the country Americans spoke up, asking Congress to stop this terrible law. Over 1.5 million signed the dontfundit.com petition, and thousands more sign every day. Tens of thousands of calls poured into the offices of senators and congressmen. They changed the dynamic.
As a result, on Friday, House Republicans passed a bill that fully funds government without funding Obamacare, even picking up a couple of Democrat votes.
Now, it’s the Senate’s turn.
If Senate Republicans stay strong and hold true to their previous commitments to defund Obamacare, we will force Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make a choice: keep the government open, or shut it down in the name of funding a glitch-riddled health care takeover that is killing jobs, wages, and health care benefits all across the nation.
The next step is critical. Senate Republicans should demand a 60-vote threshold for any effort that would add Obamacare funding back into the House bill. This is the battle line: Senate Republicans must stop Reid from rejecting the House bill and adding Obamacare funding with merely 51 votes.
The House bill must be protected.
If implemented, Obamacare will change our entire health care system, impacting the lives of every single American. Securing 60 votes is not too much to ask. Our nation is bitterly divided because there is far too little consensus on major political matters. We need more unity to help heal our country. Sixty votes would help move toward that.
The Democrats may have jammed Obamacare through Congress on a strict, bare-knuckled party-line vote, but it shouldn’t be funded that way.
We know the Democratic leadership wants to fund Obamacare, and it’s certain Leader Reid will use every gimmick, obscure parliamentary trick, and sweetheart deal to do it. After all, that’s how he passed Obamacare in the first place.
Until Reid guarantees a 60-vote threshold on all amendments, a vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare. It would amount to giving the Democrats a green light to fund Obamacare with 51 votes.
We owe it to our constituents to keep our promise to stop Obamacare. Many in Washington like to talk about “elections having consequences” but seem more intent on focusing on who has power.
It’s time to quit worrying about power and blame and simply do what’s right.
The evidence is pouring in that Obamacare isn’t working. Obamacare is hurting almost every sector of the economy. Universities, restaurants, retailers, museums, and more are all being forced to make brutal adjustments to comply with it.
Even labor unions that once championed this law are decrying how it could destroy the 40-hour workweek for millions of middle-class Americans.
More Americans are losing their insurance each day -- despite the president’s promise that if we liked it, we could keep it. Last month, UPS and the University of Virginia said they would drop health insurance for many spouses of their employees because of Obamacare, leaving thousands of husbands and wives scrambling.
Just last week the Cleveland Clinic announced massive layoffs and a $330 million budget cut because of Obamacare. Sea World is slashing hours for part-time workers. Investor’s Business Daily has tallied more than 300 companies that are cutting jobs and benefits because of the law.
Not one more American should lose their job, wages, or health care plans because of this disastrous, train wreck of a law.
If President Obama, his big corporate friends, and members of Congress and their staffs don’t have to live under Obamacare, then no other Americans should, either.
Some argue the law should be delayed. Defunding delays it for everyone, not just the ruling class in DC. In essence, defund exempts everyone from the law. Defund gives a waiver to everyone.
Whether or not Senate Republicans defeat cloture, the question will be whether Harry Reid will demand a government shutdown to force Obamacare on every American. We should not shut down the government, and I hope Reid and President Obama do not do so.
Regardless, the House should stand its ground, and if Reid kills this Continuing Resolution then the House should pass smaller CRs one at a time, starting with the military. Dare Reid to keep voting to shut down the government.
Once Senate Republicans unite, red-state Senate Democrats will be next. And that is how we win -- by continuing to mobilize the American people to hold every elected official accountable.
Americans are speaking loud and clear. They don’t want to lose their health plans and be forced into Obamacare exchanges, keep their businesses small to avoid the law’s penalties, and let bureaucrats and politicians in Washington make their health care decisions. Let’s listen.
They deserve a win. I intend to use every tool available to me to defund Obamacare, and am encouraged by the thousands of phone calls, tweets, and emails that come to my office each day.
Republicans have the momentum. Conservatives defeated the president’s gun control measures to deprive Second Amendment rights from law-abiding Americans. We pushed back on his reckless drone policy. We convinced him to seek congressional approval on military action in Syria.
Now, we’re poised to win our biggest victory for the American people yet: defunding Obamacare. All we have to do is have the will to fight.