Tom Coburn has been trying to explain that for weeks. The problem is that almost all of the funding ObamaCare gets is through already-levied taxes and fees passed into statutory law, not in the budget process. The only way to prevent its funding, especially that of the exchanges and subsidies that Tea Party conservatives most want to stop, is either through full repeal or delay. A government shutdown doesn’t stop the exchanges from going on line or the subsidies from being paid out in a little over a week from now, nor does it arguably stop the salaries of those who operate the exchanges or cut the subsidy checks. ObamaCare is in the same class of statutory spending as Medicare and Social Security, and even the bureaucracies of those organizations continue to get paid in a government shutdown thanks to their statutory requirements for spending.
I don’t know why the gang at Hot Farts is lying about this, but they are.
Neither Cruz nor anybody else is proposing to directly defund Obamacare. What they are proposing to do is to defund the implementation of Obamacare.
Rather than rallying Republicans to a less-confrontational plan to keep the government running past Sept. 30, Boehner threw in with the boisterous, rebellious wing of the House GOP: He set, for Friday, a vote that would simultaneously provide funding to keep the government open, while stripping away money to implement portions of Obama’s health-care law.
Even the WaPo understand and openly admits this. So why is the Hot Farts gang pushing a dishonest lefty talking point?
The only way for Congress to stop the new entitlements and executive branch spending abuses is to defund all Obamacare implementation efforts across the federal government. Full defunding of Obamacare would halt the law’s new entitlements before they start—and prevent HHS from raiding other parts of the departmental budget to promote Obamacare. Defunding Obamacare would also prevent the enforcement of the law’s new regulations and 18 separate tax increases, including the tax for not complying with the individual mandate. While Congress cannot unilaterally repeal Obamacare, the Constitution grants Congress the ultimate “power of the purse.” If Congress chooses not to fund Obamacare activities for the upcoming fiscal year, the Obama Administration cannot act to implement the law. Congress can, and Congress should, act to defund all of Obamacare now.
MYTH #5: THAT FORCING A CONFRONTATION ON THE CR WOULD SHUT DOWN THE GOVERNMENT, BUT ALLOW OBAMACARE TO CONTINUE DURING THE SHUTDOWN.
This is not true on either count.
Since Reagan’s second term, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and the Office of Management and Budget have promulgated guidance allowing most of the desirable discretionary functions of government and virtually all of the entitlements to continue as “essential functions,” even with no CR.
Furthermore, if the House really wants to chime in on keeping Social Security, air traffic controllers, national parks, etc., it can pass a bill stating that these are essential functions which will not be interrupted. Thus, their continuation pursuant to Article I, Section 9, and the Antideficiency Act will be in accordance with the “law.”
As to the question of whether you can cut off ObamaCare through appropriations, the answer is that the important question is whether you can cut off the mandate. And CRS grudgingly concedes that the answer appears to be “yes.” (And, incidentally, if you can’t enforce the mandate, everything else eventually dries up.)
CRS concedes that the $1 billion of previously appropriated funds to the Health Insurance Reform Implementation Fund (HIRIF) that has previously been used to fund the IRS “would be obligated by the end of FY 2012.” IRS enforcement of the mandate is not a “nonrecurring expense” which can be funded from a fund for that purpose, cannot be funded by any trust fund established under ObamaCare, and, at a cost of $400 million, is too large to be legally reprogrammed from another account.
Finally, the Antideficiency Act has been interpreted, without a CR, to prohibit “all audit functions, examination of returns, and processing of non-electronic tax returns that did not include remittances…” [CRS p.8]
The CRS argues that the IRS would just start levying penalties once Republicans capitulated.
ANSWER: Don’t capitulate. If Congress succeeds in prohibiting funds for the mandate, the answer is “no,” the IRS will not be able to enforce the mandate for the duration of the CR.
Supposedly Ed and AP are politically savvy: They certainly try to sell themselves that way. Which means they know that what they are spouting here is dishonest bullshit.
So why are they doing it?
The alternative, of course, is that Ed, AP, and the Hot Farts gang are nothing more than hack propagandists beating the drums for war against real liberty-minded conservatives like Ted Cruz.
I know which way my choice goes.