Republicans eye 2011 government shutdown over Obamacare

April 14, 2010 04:19

If that is what it takes, we say ‘go for it’! Most Americans will agree.

By Jonathan StrongThe Daily Caller

Top Republicans are gearing up for a showdown against President Obama over the health-care law, which could take place if they win majorities in Congress in November.

They say they are ready to push the issue to the brink – forcing a possible government shutdown like when Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton’s budget feud stopped government operations in 1995. Then, Gingrich lost the P.R. war and much of his political momentum in the fight. Now, the GOP is hoping Obama will catch the blame.

A 2011 showdown could happen if Republicans reclaim power – but not supermajorities — in Congress. They wouldn’t have the power to fully repeal the new health-care law but could try to pass spending bills that decline to fund, and thus implement, Obamacare. At the very least, with power over a single chamber of Congress they could refuse to pass a spending bill funding the health-care law. The president would likely veto any appropriations bills that don’t fund his hard-fought, signature accomplishment.

What happens next is a high-stakes game of chicken that could shape the public’s view of party leaders for years to come.

Gingrich, the Republican leader when the GOP took on Bill Clinton in 1995, now defends the shutdown that, by his own account, is universally viewed as a low point of his tenure as speaker of the House.

“Everybody thinks [shutting down the government] was a big mistake. They’re exactly wrong,” former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told reporters on Tuesday, “part of the reason we got reelected was our base thought we were serious. And they thought we were serious because when it came to a showdown we didn’t flinch.”

Gingrich urged Republicans not to blink in a showdown with Obama. “If the president vetoes the appropriations bill, you re-pass it … The only person who can shut down the government is the president. If you’re prepared to pass the appropriations bill, he has to decide to veto the bill you have passed,” Gingrich said.


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