Cruz tries to defund Obamacare, slams president for playing 2014 politics

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has introduced a bill in the Senate to defund Obamacare and slammed President Obama for revising his health-care policy strategy in order to win the 2014 midterm elections.

Cruz is currently spearheading the Defund Obamacare Act of 2013, which has little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate. Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Graves introduced the bill in the House, marking the fourth time that Graves has introduced the Defund Obamacare Act. Graves’ first three attempts to pass the bill, the most recent of which came in March, all failed.

Republicans in the Senate minority, realizing that efforts to defund Obamacare hinge on the outcome of the 2014 elections, when 33 Senate seats will be up for grabs, are now ramping up their rhetoric and testing out their political clout.

Cruz said that President Obama’s recent decision to delay Obamacare’s employer mandate, which forces companies with more than 50 workers to provide health insurance or else pay fines until January 2015 is a political move by the president.

“The Administration’s recent announcement to delay the onerous and unpopular employer mandate until after the 2014 election…confirms what has been obvious from the start — this law is a colossal mistake,” Cruz said in a statement Friday promoting the Defund Obamacare Act.

Cruz’s view on the political aspect of Obama’s delay is shared by the Senate Republican Caucus.

“In an attempt to push the most economically crushing and burdensome regulations past the 2014 election, President Obama decided he had the authority to waive the employer mandate because he knows that it’s a political liability,” Wyoming Republican Sen. Mike Enzi said in the weekly Republican address Saturday.

Other Senate Republicans are threatening to block a continuing resolution for a new temporary federal budget, the next vote for which comes in September, until Obamacare gets defunded — a move that could lead to a government shutdown months before the 2014 midterms.

“I will not vote for a continuing resolution unless it defunds Obamacare,” Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio promised Thursday. Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee also suggested that Republicans could use the “power of the purse” to force the defunding of Obamacare.

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