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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Wall Street Journal: Opinion- Holman Jenkins- The Shutdown GOP Victories?

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner-
This piece was originally posted at FreeState Plus on WordPress: The Wall Street Journal: Opinion- Holman Jenkins- The Shutdown GOP Victories?

Only Libertarians or Anarchists think shutting down the government and not opening up is a good thing. Because they obviously tend not to like government or be in favor of government and tend to see most of what government does as some violation of their freedom and constitutional rights. Especially as it relates to taxes. And shutting down government seems to be a good thing for them. But for the rest of the country who not only pays for an consumes public services, shutting down the government especially over one issue like the Affordable Care Act, looks crazy. And House Republicans and their allies in the Senate are going to pay for it.

What House Republicans haven’t figured out that is that even though we do have a divided government, they have the smaller portion. Imagine sharing a pie with someone and you only get 1/3 of the pie and the person you’re sharing the pie gets the other two-thirds. And the person with bigger portion says, ‘we’re sharing this pie equally.’ I would say something like, ‘who you think you’re fooling. Your portion is obviously much bigger than mine.’ Republicans won back the House of Representatives in 2010, but that is the only thing they won. The lower chamber in Congress, with the Democrats still controlling the upper chamber the Senate. With a bigger majority in the Senate today than they had in the 112th Congress.

And when the party that has the bigger portion of government that has a lot more power in the executive and the Senate, makes it clear that they’re not going to let you eliminate their biggest accomplishment at least since Medicare in 1965 and they have the power to stop you, you need to take that seriously. Especially when you’re responsible for funding the U.S. Government. The appropriations and budget process starts in the House after the President submits his budget. The House is required to pass these bills. And when you attach something like a repeal or defunding of ObamaCare to the budget that you know the Senate won’t pass and the President won’t sign, you create major political problems for yourself.

What House Republicans need to learn, especially their GOP Leadership, is that they simply don’t have the power to do what they want to do. They won’t have that power in 2015 either, even if they win back the Senate and hold onto the House, or add to their majority. Eliminating the Affordable Care Act is simply a non-starter with Congressional Democrats and the Obama Administration. Just like an across the board tax increase would be a non-starter with Congressional Republicans. So what House Republicans need to do is fund the government and get an agreement with Senate Democrats and the President to do that. Which includes funding ObamaCare. And if they have a Republican Congress and Republican President in 2017, then they could repeal ObamaCare, but not now.