Conservative groups back alternative GOP plan to delay Obamacare

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Conservative and tea party-affiliated groups are coming out in support of an alternative legislative proposal that would delay implementation of President Obama’s health-care law until 2015 while still keeping the government open.

“The Tea Party Patriots supports this bill and demands that House Leadership stop the gimmicks and get behind it too,” said Jenny Beth Martin, the national Coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.

On Thursday, Georgia Rep. Tom Graves introduced what he calls the “Stability, Security and Fairness Resolution.” It would continue funding the government, while fully delaying and defunding Obamacare until 2015.

It comes as Republicans have split on how to approach the Sept. 30 deadline to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government funded. Some conservatives, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Mike Lee, proposed passing a continuing resolution only if it completely defunds the health-care law.

The Republican leadership in both the House and Senate are opposed to tying the continuing resolution to defunding Obamacare, arguing that Republicans shouldn’t risk shutting down the government.

Earlier this week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor unveiled his favored plan for continuing to fund the government. While he promised to allow a vote to defund Obamacare, many tea party conservatives were not satisfied with the strategy, saying it would fail to affect Obamacare implementation at all.

Graves said his plan accomplishes both goals of conservatives — it delays implementation of Obamacare while ensuring the government is funded.

“After weeks of working with and listening to members on how to approach the government funding deadline, it’s clear that House Republicans are united around two goals: keeping the government open and protecting our constituents from the harmful effects of Obamacare. Today, my 42 cosponsors and I are putting forward a plan that achieves both goals,” Graves said.

He said his plan is realistic: “This approach builds upon the Obama Administration’s policy of delaying portions of Obamacare and relieves taxpayers of the burden of funding a program that is not being implemented.”

Conservative groups are now throwing their weight behind it. Martin of Tea Party Patriots called it a “valiant effort to defund Obamacare through 2015.”

“His bill ensures that our government will remain open, operated, and funded and it will ensure Obamacare is applied equally and fairly by stopping our tax dollars from paying for a law Congress will not live under,” she said.

“The health care law has undergone over 20 delays and revisions to-date, including exemptions for connected corporations, Congressional staff, and the IRS,” FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said. “If the law isn’t ready to be implemented, the American people should not be paying for it. We are very happy to see Tom Graves stepping up and using every option on the table to dismantle this expensive and coercive law.”

“Congressman Graves’ proposal to defund ObamaCare through 2015 is the best plan we have seen to prevent this law from taking hold,” ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell said.

He added: “Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor should support this effort and lead a united Republican Conference in passing this bill and sending it to the Senate.”

Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said the organization “strongly supports the legislation offered by Congressman Tom Graves to save America from Obamacare.”

“Obamacare has already done immeasurable damage to economic growth, and even labor unions like the AFL-CIO think that it should be repealed. Republicans, Democrats, and independents are united in opposition to this horrible piece of legislation and momentum is building to stop it,” he said.

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Alex Pappas