One of the disillusioning facts about Washington is that Congress can vote on something and that vote won’t mean a thing.
It would seem that a congressional vote should be a meaningful occasion, with Members weighing the costs and benefits of voting for the particular measure at hand. Unfortunately, political gamesmanship often leads them to create voting opportunities that have no real impact, but will allow them to tell constituents, “I voted for this” or “I voted against that.”
The House of Representatives was heading in that direction—considering a proposal that purported to defund Obamacare but wouldn’t actually achieve that goal. This is what voters have come to expect from Capitol Hill and why Congress has such low standing with the American people.
Heritage President Jim DeMint called for an end to these “pretend votes” and “gimmicks.”
We don’t need empty show votes to pull the wool over the American people’s eyes; we need our elected representatives to fight for the American people.
Thankfully, there are other alternatives to defund Obamacare and fund the government, including a proposal introduced yesterday by Representative Tom Graves (R-GA) and 42 of his colleagues. This approach will force lawmakers to have a real debate and make the tough choices when they vote—so that their votes will mean something.
Time is of the essence to defund Obamacare. We’re just 17 days out from Obamacare’s insurance exchanges opening and the overhaul of our health care system taking root.
President Obama has already signed 14 laws that amend, rescind or otherwise change parts of his health care law, and he’s taken five independent steps to delay the Affordable Care Act on his own.
Public support for Obamacare has dropped below 40 percent. It’s unfair, unworkable, and unaffordable. You could lose your current health coverage, see your hours cut at work, and end up with bureaucrats coming between you and your doctor.
Congress should take its responsibility seriously and defund Obamacare now.
Amy Payne is Assistant Director of Strategic Communications at The Heritage Foundation . http://www.heritage.org/ In that capacity, Amy serves as Managing Editor of The Foundry, Heritage’s public policy news blog, as well as the “Morning Bell”, one of Washington’s most widely read and influential e-newsletters.