House Republicans voted yesterday to keep the government open.
If you remember nothing else from this blog post, remember that because you’re not likely to hear it anywhere else.
The media will no doubt be reporting vigorously on Congressional Democrats who are desperately trying to point fingers of blame in the GOP’s direction in the case of a government shutdown. They’ll harp on Rep. Pelosi calling Republicans “legislative arsonists,” they’ll focus on the president uncharacteristically angry comments about how the GOP is “trying to mess with me,” and they’ll talk endlessly about Harry Reid calling the plan “dead, dead.”
And while you’re likely to hear the word “extreme” tossed around endlessly about the House’s action, the reality is that it was anything but.
“Our message to the United States Senate is very simple: The American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare,” Speaker John Boehner told a group of Republican lawmakers after the vote. “The House has listened to the American people. Now it’s time for the United States Senate to listen to them as well.”
Boehner gets it exactly right. The latest Pew Research poll finds that 53 percent of Americans disapprove of Obamacare while 42 percent approve. “Opinions are now as negative as they have been at any point since the bill’s passage,” Pew writes in it’s analysis. As it turns out, the longer the bill is in the public domain, and the more Americans have a chance to learn what’s in it, the less they like it.
And that poll was not a one-off anomaly. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll on healthcare finds that 52 percent oppose while 42 percent support. Even more people—55 percent—disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling the implementation of the law. Here’s how the poll describes Americans’ view of Obamacare’s impact:
“More people say the law has had negative rather than positive effects so far, although many as yet see no impact. Thirty-six percent, for example, say it’s worsened the health care system overall, vs. 19 percent who see improvement. The rest, 39 percent, see no effect.
Many more, about six in 10 Americans (55 to 63 percent), say the law so far has had no effect on them personally – their health care costs, insurance coverage or care experiences. But among those who do report an impact, it’s more apt to be negative. Thirty-three percent report negative effects on their costs, 25 percent on their coverage and 22 percent on the quality of their care. Positive impacts, by contrast, are reported by only about one in 10 in each case.”
Republicans are following the will of the people and what are Democrats doing? Fundraising off the prospect of a government shutdown.
Yesterday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched “GOP Shutdown Watch,” that not only gleefully celebrates the idea that the government could shut down, but attempts to raise money off of the idea. Democrats know that if they vote against the Republican plan and the government lurches towards a shutdown the complicit media will somehow tag the GOP with the blame.
Nothing could be further than the truth. Not only did the House GOP explicitly pass a continuing resolution that maintains funding for the entire federal budget with the exception of the wildly unpopular and unworkable health care law, the bill also included the Full Faith and Credit Act. That legislation negates the prospect of a default completely by ensuring that the U.S. Treasury prioritizes making interest payments to America’s bondholders.
The Republican-led House is doing everything it can to follow the will of Americans. Democrats are doing everything they can to maximize their political gain. And yet we’re somehow supposed to believe that Republicans are the extremists? Gimme a break.