Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Continuing Resolution and the House Rules Committee's Valentine to Obamacare

Red Meat Conservative has some nice posts here and here about Republican opposition to some proposed spending cuts in the Continuing Resolution.  I've long thought someone needs to put together a group to pressure Republicans to vote for spending cuts in the way that Americans for Tax Reform has pressured candidates to sign no tax increase pledges.  Those pledges actually do seem to have some effect.

For me, the biggest dissapointment on the Continuing Resolution was the failure of the (Republican controlled) House Rules Committee in a vote on Valentine's Day to give a special rule to Representative Steve King to offer the following amendment:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, none of the funds made available in this Act or any previous Act may be used to carry out the provisions of Public Law 111–148, Public Law 111–152 [Obamacare], or any amendment made by either such Public Law."

Because he didn't get a rule the amendment was out of order under House Rule XXI.  

This was really a beautiful amendment, and would have been much more efficacious than the reconciliation strategy I blogged about here because it would have prevented funds to be used to enforce the law, including the guaranteed coverage provisions.  My understanding is that it would have been at least somewhat unusual for the Rules Committee to have given Representative King a special rule, but in any case I think its fair to say that there are a lot of people even in the House leadership who want to move pass Obamacare and get onto other things.  That's why we as conservatives need to keep the pressure up.

Note that this Continuing Resolution is to authorize spending, not borrowing, and this bill isn't the same thing as the debt ceiling vote I blogged about here.  That's still the point where Republicans are likely to have their greatest leverage, and I hope Representative King or someone else tries this again on that vote.

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