A dialogue on defunding
Should opponents of Obamacare be willing to shut down the government?

Reuters

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (C) and Senator Mike Lee (2nd R) speak to reporters about their opposition after the Senate passed a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, sending the issue back to the House of Representatives, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 27, 2013.

Article Highlights

  • So why are all the Republicans in Washington, D.C., yelling at each other right now?

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  • Most Republicans argue that if they hold firm long enough on #Obamacare, they will win.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 14, 2013, issue of National Review.

So why are all the Republicans in Washington, D.C., yelling at each other right now?

A bill, called a continuing resolution, has to be enacted for all the operations of government to be funded. Without it, there will be a partial government shutdown. One group of Republicans, led by Senators Ted Cruz (R., Tex.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah) and including a minority of House Republicans, thinks that Republicans should refuse to pass any such bill unless it takes funding away from Obamacare. They argue that if they hold firm long enough, they will win. Most Republicans say that it won’t work: The public will hold a shutdown against Republicans, they won’t be able to sustain their position, and the battle will end with Republicans discredited and Obamacare more entrenched than ever. The defunders call the Republicans who disagree with their strategy the “surrender caucus.”

The full text of this article is available by subscription to National Review.

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About the Author

 

Ramesh
Ponnuru
  • A senior editor for National Review, where he has covered national politics and public policy for 18 years, Ponnuru is also a columnist for Bloomberg View. A prolific writer, he is the author of a monograph about Japanese industrial policy and a book about American politics and the sanctity of human life. At AEI, Ponnuru examines the future of conservatism, with particular attention to health care, economic policy, and constitutionalism.


    BOOKS:



    • "The Party of Death: The Democrats, the Media, the Courts, and the Disregard for Human Life," Regnery Publishing, 2006



    • "The Mystery of Japanese Growth," AEI Press, 1995



    Follow Ramesh Ponnuru on Twitter.
  • Email: ramesh.ponnuru@aei.org

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