The original author of the Republican plan to defeat Obamacare in the federal budget fight joined with many other Republicans in expressing disappointment with the agreement that spelled the end of the government shutdown Wednesday night.
Georgia Rep. Tom Graves voted against the Harry Reid-Mitch McConnell deal to re-open the government and lift the debt ceiling until February.
Graves introduced the original bill to defund Obamacare in the fiscal year 2014 budget, which passed the House but was blocked by the Senate. Graves then introduced the one-year Obamacare delay, which also died at the hand of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The Senate voted 81-18 and the House 285-144 Wednesday night to fund the government, including Obamacare, through January and to extend the debt limit until February 2014. President Obama has vowed to sign the legislation.
Graves expressed his “disappointment,” but remained hopeful.
“Although the bill being advanced today is a disappointment, Republicans have an opportunity to reset the debate over the next few months. As the nation’s attention turns from Washington politics to the Obamacare disaster, Democrats will have no choice but to reconsider our fair and reasonable proposals to delay the law,” Graves said in a statement.
“Even someone as cold as Harry Reid will have a hard time forcing people to buy a bad, unaffordable product from a website that doesn’t work,” Graves said.
Graves’ sentiments were shared by many Republicans, including Sen. Tim Scott, who voted against the deal, saying, “raising the debt ceiling with absolutely zero offsetting reductions in spending is the poster child for the lack of fiscal foresight that is common place in Washington.” The conservative activist organization FreedomWorks called the deal “a full surrender” and a “bipartisan betrayal.”
President Obama’s advocacy group Organizing for Action (OFA), meanwhile, called the deal “good news.”
“We drove calls to Congress, and we absolutely dominated the conversation online to keep the pressure on the lawmakers responsible — including hundreds of thousands of Facebook shares and more than 600,000 tweets holding Congress accountable,” gushed OFA executive director Jon Carson in an email to supporters from BarackObama.com.