Obama Blasts GOP Members Trying To Defund, Delay ACA
On Monday, President Obama criticized certain Republicans during a speech on the state of the U.S. economy over their efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act, The Hill's "Hill Tube" reports (Sink, "Hill Tube," The Hill 9/16).
Obama's speech comes as some conservative Republicans are backing an alternative spending bill for fiscal year 2014 that would keep the federal government running, while halting funds for the health reform law's implementation. The measure -- introduced last week by Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) -- came in response to a proposal by House leaders for a short-term spending resolution that would force the Senate to vote on a bill defunding the ACA, while limiting the threat of a government shutdown.
White House press secretary Jay Carney has said Obama would veto any legislation that delays or defunds the ACA (California Healthline, 9/16).
Obama Calls for Compromise, Lambasts 'Extreme Wing' of GOP
In his speech, Obama called on Congress to avert a government shutdown by passing a budget, adding that a shutdown or even the possibility of default would put the still-frail U.S. economy at risk.
Obama also targeted Republicans who say they will not vote for any budget deal that does not defund the ACA. "I cannot remember a time when one faction of one party promises economic chaos if it can't get 100% of what it wants," he said, adding, "That's never happened before, and that's what['s] happening right now."
Obama appealed to other Republicans to break from that faction and help forge a budget compromise. Obama asked, "Are some of these folks so beholden to one extreme wing of their party that they're willing to tank our whole economy?" (Reis, National Journal, 9/16). He added that GOP members who were "unwilling to compromise" because of some "ideological agenda" were displaying the "height of irresponsibility."
Boehner Criticizes Obama for Partisan Speech
In response to Obama's comments, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said it was a "shame that the president could not manage to rise above partisanship." He added that the Obama should instead be "working in a bipartisan way to address America's spending problems -- the way presidents of both parties have done before." Boehner also reiterated his call for Obama to delay the ACA (Sink, The Hill, 9/16).
Graves' Bill Garners More Support
In related news, Graves' proposed spending bill has garnered an additional 17 co-sponsors since it initially was introduced. The bill now has the support of 59 House Republicans (Wasson, "On the Money," The Hill, 9/16).
Graves' measure would devote $967 billion to fund the government for one year, while fully defunding the ACA and delaying the law's implementation by one year (California Healthline, 9/13).
The House is expected to debate continuing resolution proposals on Wednesday, according to "On the Money" ("On the Money, The Hill, 9/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.