Obama’s group attacks GOP ‘government shutdown’ as 70 Repubs sponsor bill to avoid shutdown

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Republican Rep. Tom Graves’ budget plan to defund Obamacare while avoiding a government shutdown is rapidly gaining House support, but President Obama’s advocacy group Organizing for Action (OFA) is still using claims that Republicans want a shutdown in its fundraising pitch.

Graves’ Stability, Security, and Fairness Resolution now has 70 House cosponsors after 11 more lawmakers cosponsored Tuesday. The continuing resolution proposal for fiscal year 2014 actually avoids a government shutdown and funds all facets of the federal government, with the exception of spending related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Graves introduced the plan last Thursday.

“There has never, ever, ever been any proposal from Ted Cruz or Mike Lee to shut down the functions of government. That was just the media,” said Brian Phillips, communications director for Sen. Mike Lee, who is partnering with Sen. Cruz on the highly publicized “Defund Obamacare” campaign.

The “Defund Obamacare” movement has been routinely criticized by Democrats and the mainstream media for opening up the possibility of a government shutdown if Senate Democrats don’t get on board. OFA, which was assembled from the remnants of Obama’s 2012 campaign to push for the president’s second-term agenda, continues to raise money off that premise.

“There are Republicans in the House so dead set on stopping Obamacare that they’re willing to sabotage our economy to do it. Really. Instead of passing a budget by the September 30th deadline, they’re threatening to shut down the government if Obamacare isn’t defunded,” OFA chairman and Obama’s 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina claimed in a Tuesday email to supporters introducing a new TV ad and asking for money.

“It’s time for them to cut the crap and get serious…Their latest plan is dangerous — we know that. They know it, too,” Messina wrote.

An OFA spokesperson did not return a request for comment regarding Graves’ resolution.

Graves’ plan, which has been endorsed by conservative and libertarian groups including Heritage Action, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and Tea Party Patriots, places the pressure in the continuing-resolution budget fight on the shoulders of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“If the House passes it, the only thing standing in the way of funding the government is Harry Reid. If he doesn’t take it to a floor vote in the Senate, then he’s the one responsible for a shutdown scenario,” Phillips said.

Reid, meanwhile, tweeted Tuesday, “Americans have spoken loudly and clearly on Obamacare. It’s time to move on,” with an image of a poster telling Republicans to “Grow up.”

A record-high 53 percent of Americans disapprove of Obamacare and Obama’s approach to health-care policy, according to a USA Today and Pew Research Center poll released this week.

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