GOP Credibility on the Line Over Obamacare

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The GOP must unite in its efforts to stop Obamacare, otherwise it will cost whatever credibility with voters they still have left.

The following article, by Gregory Tapis, explains why. h/t: Steve Deace

After much anticipation, polls, and efforts convincing voters to “Vote Republican,” the GOP has achieved its long awaited “Victory.” The “Victory” was decisive. While the majority of messaging from the GOP lacked substance and was essentially, “Drink Coke. We are not Pepsi” marketing, the Republican Party did run heavily on the perils of Obamacare, and even stated it is on the ballot.While this is one policy I am glad the Republican Party was able to convince voters is hurting their bank accounts, I fear this issue may cost Republicans the White House in 2016. After all, this is a promise the Republicans made to all voters who listened to their message and chose to vote Republican, including myself. The American people have spoken and now it is time for Republicans to deliver and use every power available to do so.

In full disclosure, I identify myself as a Tea Party Republican. I supported all the efforts of Senator Ted Cruz in his efforts to defund Obamacare and was equally upset at the 25 Republican Senators who voted to grant Senator Harry Reid cloture and in essence chose not to stop Obamacare when they had the chance. Now things are different. Things are much different.

With a Republican-controlled House and Senate, anything short of fully stopping Obamacare is a failure for the GOP and will cost whatever credibility they have with the conservative base of the Party and perhaps the rest of the voters who put them in charge. In the remaining portion, I describe two options the Republicans have for ending the disaster of Obamacare. One option is safe and must be taken. The other takes us back to what our Founding Fathers envisioned when confronted with a situation like this.

The first option is to repeal Obamacare through legislative action. This is the option I think the Republicans will and frankly should start with. After all, all newly elected Republicans to the Senate ran on repealing Obamacare. It would be both intellectually inconsistent and politically disastrous for them not to vote on repealing Obamacare. Both the House and Senate should make their first order of business completely repealing Obamacare. The Bill will then be sent to President Obama and he will surely veto it. This is when Republicans will be truly tested whether or not they intend to keep their promise regarding Obamacare.

In this option, Republicans may tell us, “See we tried. We passed a Bill in both the House and the Senate repealing Obamacare. Now you need to give us the White House since this is the only way we can repeal Obamacare.” They will hope we listen and do not question. However, if we, as constitutional conservatives accept this answer, we are an equal part of the problem. The true solution to Obamacare is rooted deep in our Nation’s history. The question is whether Republicans meant their promise. If they do intend to keep their promise, Obamacare will still be law but effectively will be dead. This brings me to option two: utilizing the power of the purse.

The Framers of our Constitution had just this type of scenario in mind when they developed the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution. Specifically, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 states, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” (For a further discussion of the Appropriations Clause, see The Heritage Guide to The Constitution published by the Heritage Foundation).

In the rare instance that Republicans say, “This is not how things are done” or “This is not what was intended by our Framers,” I point to The Federalist No. 58. James Madison states rather eloquently, “The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of the government. They…hold the purse…This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary method.”

Gregory Tapis holds a Ph.D. in strategic management from Mississippi State University and consults on strategy with both campaigns and businesses. He lives with his wife in Davenport, Iowa.

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