Steve King Outlines GOP Legislative Strategy: Defund Health Care Reform In ‘Every Appropriations Bill’

Yesterday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) took to to outline the House Republicans’ legislative strategy in the upcoming 112th Congress. King repeated his demand for “100% repeal” of health care reform and to rip it out “by the roots.” He also took direct aim at those less fervent in their repeal-zeal, writing that “we certainly don’t need to hamper our efforts at the beginning by drafting a clumsy ‘repeal and replace’ bill.”

King described in further detail precisely how he and the GOP plan to kill health care reform. He demanded that “every appropriations bill we pass” explicitly bar “any money allocated therein from being spent on implementing” health care reform:

The second thing that Republicans need to do is to lay the groundwork for defunding any and all efforts to implement Obamacare. Thankfully, the American people delivered the House of Representatives into Republican hands, giving Obamacare opponents the power of the purse.

Americans expect the new Congress, bolstered by new members who made Obamacare repeal the hallmark of their campaigns, to oppose the legislation with every tool at our disposal.

Not only should Republicans in the House zero-out any Obamacare related item in the budget, we should further protect our efforts from Democrats in the Senate by including language in every appropriations bill we pass explicitly barring any money allocated therein from being spent on implementing or enforcing any part of Obamacare.

Though King has as bombastic and inflammatory a history as any member of Congress, he has nevertheless emerged as a leader for Republicans in their fight to undo health care reform.


Following passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, King filed a discharge petition in the House that would repeal every aspect of the law, including the most popular provisions like the elimination of pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps. Despite the fact that most Republican congressmen publicly describe their intention to “repeal and replace” health care reform, 173 representatives, or 97 percent of the House GOP caucus, have quietly signed on to King’s discharge petition.

In his op-ed, King also repeated his insistence that a looming government shutdown would actually be the fault of President Obama rather than congressional Republicans. He accused Obama of threatening “to shut down the government by refusing to sign individual appropriations bills that contain anti-Obamacare language.” In reality, the GOP’s ranks are peppered with congressmen who are pledging to shut down the government next Congress if their demands are not met on a host of issues, from defunding health care reform to blocking an increase in the debt ceiling. Indeed, maintaining a functioning federal government does not appear to be at the top of the GOP priority list, as incoming-Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) pointed out when he called the possibility of a government shutdown a mere “nuisance” and “inconvenience.”