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US Congress

A Primary-Go-Round for Senate GOP

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The temperature is sizzling in D.C. — but it’s nothing compared to the heat on Congress. As if there weren’t enough incentive to repeal Obamacare, the conservative movement just gave the Republicans more: next year’s election. Voters have been a patient bunch as Republicans fumble their way through the health care debate, but their tolerance is wearing thin. And yesterday’s movement conference call proved it.

Top conservative leaders from groups like Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, Tea Party Patriots, For America, FRC, and others, gave the Senate GOP two choices: Act now — or pay later. “All they have to do,” Ken Cuccinelli said, “is pass the bill they passed in 2015. It should be a lay-up.” All but three Republicans in Congress voted for this same language 18 months ago. What’s changed? Good question. One that RINOs like Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), and Rob Portman (Ohio) will have a tough time answering.

Republicans ran 30,000 ads on Obamacare in 2014, Cuccinelli pointed out. If there’s anyone the GOP shouldn’t have to persuade, it’s their own party. Unfortunately for Americans, who’ve been crying out for relief from Obama’s law for eight years, some senators are intent on playing spoiler. But, ForAmerica’s David Bozell warned, the only thing they’ll be spoiling is their own reelection chances. “It’s no secret here in Washington that liberals like Susan Collins and company are using the Republican party pledge to repeal Obamacare as leverage to advance their own brand of liberalism. Thankfully, they’re being exposed as frauds… If the American people had the slightest appetite for their brand of liberal policy, John Kasich would be president right now. The Republican Party is honor-bound to repeal Obamacare. We expect nothing less.”

Club for Growth turned up the heat with its new website of “Traitorous Republicans,” where they juxtapose the sudden repeal opponents with their glowing comments in 2015. Senator Murkowski, who’s threatening to flip-flop on her position now that the repeal has a chance for success, said at the time, “I will support the bill that repeals the [Affordable Care Act] and wipes out its harmful impact.” Now, she and others are actually fighting to keep the law they campaigned against! The message to them is the same one Donald Trump delivered to Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.): “He wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?”

The Senate Conservatives Fund is making sure that isn’t an empty threat, announcing yesterdaythat it will help primary any Republican that breaks his word. As I said on the call, there is absolutely no reason not to act. These members will suffer, the American people will suffer, and the future balance of Congress certainly will. If they fail to deliver on almost a decade of promises, Senate Republicans will need to call hospice — because their majority is not long for this world. Health care won the election, but if the GOP isn’t careful, it’ll cost them one too.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who was instrumental in closing the deal on the House bill, is still optimistic. “It’ll get done,” he said simply. With Senate open for business through August, there’s still plenty of time for Republicans to do the right thing. But it will take the persistence of voters like you to get this repeal over the finish line. Keep calling and emailing your senators. Urge them to send the 2015 bill where it belongs: to the president!



 

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