If the Tea-Party-led Republicans take over the House this November, we won’t just see the end of any possible action on climate change or clean energy. There is a great likelihood that they will force a shutdown of the government, which will close our national parks, prevent food from being inspected, and stop any government oversight of coal mines or offshore drilling — or clean air and clean water, for that matter. Think Progress has the back-story.
Earlier this year, radical right-wing congressman Steve King (R-IA) introduced a discharge petition in the House to repeal health reform. Thus far, his measure has attracted 173 signatures. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) became the first Democrat last week to sign the petition. King told conservative blogger Ed Morrissey he’s “likely to get more Democrats.”
But King seems more worried that the leadership of his Republican caucus “” some of whom have said they won’t campaign for a full health care repeal “” won’t carry through with a pledge to repeal ObamaCare. Roll Call reports that King is now demanding a “blood oath” from House Minority Leader John Boehner to include a repeal of health care reform in every appropriations bill next year, even if a government shutdown results:
“We must not blink,” he said, noting that money cannot be spent without the House voting to pass it. “If the House says no, it’s no.”
Their new tea party backers won’t tolerate anything less than a full repeal of the health care law, he said.
“They will leave us if we go wobbly,” he said. “I am worried about that, but that’s why I think it’s got to be a blood oath.”
King said, in the event a government shutdown occurs, he wants to ensure “there wouldn’t be a repeat of 1995 where the House caved.” Earlier this month, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) said shutting down the government would be the right thing to do, even if means halting veterans benefits.
The Washington Post reports that Republicans “haven’t said much about what would replace” health reform if it were repealed, noting that “a GOP bill rejected by the Democratic-led House last year is the closest thing to a starting point. That plan would cover an additional 3 million people by 2019, compared with nearly 33 million under the Obama health-care law.”
… talk of a shutdown is already being pushed by a House Republican leader (Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia); a Republican Senate candidate (Joe Miller of Alaska); a Republican House candidate (Teresa Collett of Minnesota); and a variety of prominent Republican voices (Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris, and Erick Erickson).It’s not theater; it’s not posturing; it’s not an idle pre-election threat. Voters should appreciate how serious this is before heading to the polls.