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An Obamacare Defunding Update

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Bill in Tampa. I'm glad you waited, sir, I very much appreciate that and hello.

CALLER: Oh, my goodness. Rush, how are you?

RUSH: Very well, sir. Thank you.

CALLER: Mega dittos from the other coast.

RUSH: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great to have you here. How's the Gulf today?

CALLER: It's a little dreary, but whatever, I'm sitting here by my 5,000 square foot home with my nicotine-stained hands from the Cohiba I'm smoking.

RUSH: Oh, oh, oh. I just saw a box of brand-new Cohiba Siglo VI's. The reserve is from 2005, I think it is. Oh, man, did they look good.

CALLER: Oh, my goodness they are, and perfecto, and perfecto. Rush, I gotta tell you, I'm calling because I've been listening to you pre-Snapple days.

RUSH: Oh.

CALLER: I love you. You are doing such a service to our country.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: And I'm calling because the time has come. I think the time may be the Ides of March, March 15th that we as a people say "no" to the insanity that is going on by the regime. I personally believe that we as a people have an obligation to our children to recognize the absolutely reckless behavior of the people in Congress as well as the regime who are refusing to hear us when we say, "Cut it back," and by that I mean, a 20% rollback across the country in federal spending. What do you think?

RUSH: Well, obviously this has to happen at some point. The starting point is key, and there's reason for hopefulness out there, Bill. The original plan, the pledge during the last campaign was a hundred billion dollars cut in the federal budget to get started. Then the Republicans assumed office and the $100 billion became $32 billion. This didn't sit well with voters, didn't sit well with freshman members of Congress. They raised hell about it. They said, "Our pledge was for a hundred billion." The answer was, "Well, we're never gonna get a hundred billion cut." "We don't care. We promised our voters we're gonna try." It's like we probably can't repeal Obamacare the first try but we promised 'em we're gonna do it and it's the same theory. We're gonna propose a hundred billion dollars in cuts, we promised our voters we're gonna do it. If Obama vetoes it, fine. We keep proposing it, he keeps vetoing it. Leadership said 32. This led to contretemps. And I cited a piece Quin Hillyer at the American Spectator writing a piece, (paraphrasing) "Look, folks, you gotta understand, the hundred billion they meant for the first full fiscal year, which doesn't start, the next fiscal year doesn't start 'til October. The $32 billion this year is just for a few months here. They can't do a hundred billion this year." He was making a valid point. But it doesn't matter; the leadership capitulated to the demands of the freshmen.

I remember telling people, you don't know who these people are. This is not your average freshman class. These Tea Party people are not to be trifled with. This class is not gonna go up there and have the leadership say, "Well, yeah, that's what you thought you're gonna do, but the way things are done here…" this is evidence of it. So hundred billion dollars, it doesn't seem like much, but it is a start. The objective here is to go back to 2008 levels, just defund back to 2008. It's ridiculous to say we can't. Look at the duplication, the redundancy, look at all the waste that's been found just in the Health and Human Services budget that we pointed out this week, so obviously it can be done, and the Tea Party members, the freshman class are very serious about it, and they will make it happen. So nobody disagrees with you on that, Bill, nobody at all. These freshmen and the Republicans, despite all this stuff going on in Egypt, I remember saying it's kind of a shame all this stuff is going on because there is some really good work being done by these guys that's not getting a lot of coverage.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Let me take a stab here, at least get started on what's happening with defunding of Obamacare in the House. Now, you need to know this, and the first part of this comes from Politico, what the Republican leadership has told Politico and the Tea Parties. And the key here is the continuing resolution. We don't have a budget this year, a continuing resolution, which is how the government's gonna be funded. House Republican leadership's told Politico and the Tea Parties that they are gonna use the continuing resolution to defund Obamacare. But in reality they're planning on using the continuing resolution to go after only the discretionary spending in Obamacare rather than go for the whole shooting match.

Now, why this has people upset is that the continuing resolution is a must vote. You have to vote on the budget, this is going to require votes. The continuing resolution must be voted on. And therefore it's a must-pass opportunity, it's a golden opportunity. If we want to defund Obamacare, the continuing resolution, this is the place to do it. And there aren't very many of these must-pass opportunities in terms of legislation. So people are looking at this as a golden opportunity to go after all of the funding, not just the discretionary, but also more importantly, the stuff that's in there that's mandatory spending and that would reach back and shut off over a hundred billion dollars in funding that's already there for Obamacare signed into the law with the bill. That's the stuff that Pelosi has snuck in. If you remember when Pelosi said that we'd have to pass the bill to find out what's in it, she buried deep inside this thing provisions that basically say enactment of the law is automatic without anybody ever having to cast another vote to fund the implementation. It simply happens. It's automatic. And it's $107 billion over the next ten years.

Now, this is a law that's unconstitutional, but there's a provision in the law that basically says the enactment of the law is automatic without anyone ever having to cast another vote on it. In other words, it binds future Congresses to spend all of this money on the eventual year-to-year enactment. And that probably wouldn't stand the test, either. No Congress is gonna bound by a previous one, anything is subject to change. This provision says that it isn't. You may have heard about this when it was all being debated. So what happens here, the leadership, as best I've been able to ascertain, the House Republican leadership plans to bring the continuing resolution to the floor with -- it's an open rule. And they're gonna allow Congressman Denny Rehberg to offer an amendment that would prohibit the use of any money appropriated in the continuing resolution for purposes of implementing Obamacare. But the Rehberg amendment does not touch the self-executing mandatory spending that I just described here that Pelosi put in Obamacare when the Democrats wrote the legislation. They wrote it in such a way that enactment of the legislation would simultaneously enact mandatory appropriations that would bind future Congresses without anyone ever getting a chance to separate the votes on this.

So the amendment, this Rehberg amendment would block the funding for discretionary items related to Obamacare, it would do nothing to block mandatory spending already enacted and underway. Well, this is not what anybody wants. We want to defund the whole thing. So enter Steve King, Republican, Iowa. He wants to offer an amendment that would prohibit all funding for Obamacare, both discretionary and mandatory. What King wants to do is what every one of us thought everybody wanted to do, and that is to freeze Obamacare in its tracks by defunding it, just like the Vietnam War was frozen by defunding it. And thus significantly add to the spending cuts that the leadership is hoping to focus on next week. But King's amendment would include funding that falls outside the purview of the continuing resolution, and thus it would be a violation of the newly voted on House rule that prohibits legislating on an appropriations bill.

This is where this gets so convoluted, and it's all oriented in rules. The leadership is tying itself up in rules here because they believe that you think that the Democrats ran the House like a bunch of autocrat Nazis and the Democrats wrote rules that didn't allow the Republicans any participation and the Republicans think they've gotta change these rules so the Democrats can be involved 'cause they want us to work together, and yada yada yada. So fealty to rules which the Republicans can write on their own is standing in the way of a total defunding of the bill. Now, the leadership was asked in a bunch of meetings about alternative strategies to accomplish the defunding. They didn't have any creative alternatives and nothing tied to must-pass legislation like the continuing resolution. So Steve King wants to offer language that would open up all of the Obamacare spending to continuing resolution votes and thus freeze it. The language that King wants to offer needs to either have leadership agree to write it in the continuing resolution before it's brought to the floor, or if the leadership's not willing to do that, and to this point they haven't been, then the leadership and members of the rules committee would need to write a rule for consideration of the continuing resolution that will protect King's amendment from point of order -- you see how convoluted this is?

The bottom line here is that there appear to be forces in the Republican Party that don't want to defund the whole thing. They only want to defund the discretionary spending, but not the mandatory stuff, and they're saying, "Well, we can't really go after mandatory because rules requiring language and continuing resolutions prohibit us from doing that." Steve King's got an alternative that they're not really interested in. King says his alternative is not a violation of the rules. So it's still fluid. I mean the point is that there are still -- how could I put this? It's not that the leadership doesn't want to do away with the funding for Obamacare, it's being caught up in the rules under the guise of the American people, you know, want the rules to be adhered to and they don't want charges of coming Republicans treating the Democrats the way the Democrats treated the Republicans. It's a process problem. They really are obsessed with problems.

Steve King is trying to make the point here that courts have long held that Congress cannot bind future Congresses. That's why he claims his language is not in violation of the rules. As I say, I'm gonna have more on this. I have about six pages of notes that I've taken, people I've talked to. And the longer I go with this, the more confused you are going to be about it. I've tried to synthesize it as best I can. The bottom line is that there needs to be, as there was pressure on $100 billion in cuts versus 36, there has to be pressure, "Would you just defund the whole thing, what are we doing here?" Look at all the opportunities we've got, an unconstitutional piece of legislation, let's defund it. We've got everything on our side here, we've got momentum, we've got votes, we've got the majority, we've got public opinion. So let's just do it because the mandatory spending, it's like in the budget, mandatory spending is far more than discretionary, which you know. Social Security, Medicare, all these entitlements, that's mandatory. They dwarf discretionary, same thing in the Obamacare bill itself.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Jim in Westfield, Indiana. Great to have you on the EIB-Network, sir, hello.

CALLER: Hell, Rush, 24/7 dittos.

RUSH: Thank you very much, sir.

CALLER: Listen, the whole funding of Obamacare, Obamacare is no longer the law of the land, period. It's been ruled unconstitutional. And there is no reason to even debate the rules or the little clauses that Pelosi put in there or anything else. The law is unconstitutional. If anybody passes a vote to fund it in any way, continuing resolution or anything, there's no --

RUSH: Not quite, not quite. It is still possible that a court will find it constitutional. The appeals process isn't over. We cannot rely on the fact that the final is in. So the process of defunding it has to take place anyway. Just like they're continuing to implement it, fine, we gotta continue to try to defund it. The fact that it's unconstitutional is just another piece of ammunition in our quiver. I know it's not the law of the land. It's been vacated. But the other side is still implementing the damn thing. We can sit here and shout from the rooftops, "Hey, Obama, it's unconstitutional!" He's flipping us the bird. Okay, here's two birds back, we're gonna defund it. I mean it's the reality we're dealing with. I mean there are people that violate the Geneva Conventions in war all the time. It doesn't mean the war stops. It doesn't mean those guys lose the war. We're dealing with a bunch of extraconstitutional cheaters here. We caught 'em cheating, but they're not stopping. So we gotta continue to attack this. The fact it's unconstitutional has been vacated, should give our guys even more confidence and vim and vigor to go defund this monstrosity.

END TRANSCRIPT

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