EL DORADO HILLS, California — Rank-and-file GOP congressman are continuing to clamor for a shutdown of the federal government in order to defund Obamacare. The latest to add his name to the list is Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA).
During a town hall meeting in a tony suburb outside Sacramento on Tuesday, McClintock brought up the upcoming continuing resolution, which is necessary to keep government open but which many conservatives are targeting as a venue for another showdown over Obamacare. McClintock told the audience that he will vote against the continuing resolution — and thus for a government shutdown — unless the bill “defunds Obamacare this year.”
McCLINTOCK: We approach the end of the fiscal year on September 30th and the authorization for the federal government to spend money expires, we face the prospect of a government shutdown if something doesn’t happen, and that something is a continuing resolution which essentially puts aside all of that painstaking work on the appropriations bills, has gone into months and months of deliberations, and they simply kick the can down the road for another year. I told the House leadership, I will cut you a lot of slack on the appropriations bills. I understand they have to be reconciled with the Senate, this is a compromising process, they have to be approved by the president. But I am not going to vote for any more continuing resolutions that simply kick that can down the road. Now, I’ll make one exception to that, and that is if we can get a provision in the continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare this year.
The push to shut down the government unless Obamacare is defunded has been spearheaded by two of the most conservative senators in Washington, Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), but it has gained support from more than a dozen of their Republican colleagues.
Shutting down the government over Obamacare would be so disastrous for Republicans that even the reliably-conservative National Review and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who has done more than anyone to block President Obama’s initiatives, have been forced to push back against the movement.
The real victims of a shutdown, as Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) eloquently explained to constituents last week, would be ordinary Americans. Troops who rely on the government for their paychecks. Veterans who need health care. Medicare and Social Security recipients. Even those who rely on Meals on Wheels could see service interrupted more than it has been already following sequestration.