By Martha Zoller
As Speaker Boehner’s numbers plummet and the leaderless, rudderless Republican majority is looking for leadership on the budget and on Obamacare, Rep. Tom Price offers an alternative to a government shutdown over Obamacare. This move shows there is the beginnings of a battle of who is in charge of the Republican majority in the Congress and who will lead them to bigger gains–or losses in the 2014 election cycle. But first things first, a deal has to be struck before the September 30 deadline, one day before the October 1 deadline for Obamacare.
Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway at the AJC’s Political Insider wrote this:
Very different messages are emerging from Republican members of Georgia’s congressional delegation over the next strategy to prevent President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul from taking effect.
Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger over the weekend told a GOP gathering in Rome that the best path forward is legislation he sponsors that would pull funding from Obamacare in the upcoming budget vote.
“Why on Earth would we fund something the president himself doesn’t want to implement? This is our chance to stop this train wreck,” said the Granger Republican. “This isn’t about a government shutdown. It’s about stopping Obamacare. We have only a few short weeks to go, but we’re going to get it done.”
This is the tactic being pushed this week by Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation this week as they tour the Midwest and the South. Rep. Paul Broun of Athens is on board. Another Senate candidate, Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta – according to his Twitter feed – is on a “defund and defeat Obamacare” tour of south Georgia.
We caught up to Rep. Tom Price of Roswell at a healthcare forum on Tuesday. He had a different idea: An effort by Republican leaders, with quiet support from Democrats, could convince Obama to delay the October deadline to establish healthcare exchanges by a year.
“The main pushback has been out of the administration. Are we pushing back? You bet we are. Because if you take any one component out of this, the whole thing doesn’t work,” Price said. “The delay for a year is a solution.”
Price said he wasn’t against the effort to defund Obamacare, but he argued that the delay is the more realistic solution.
That wariness over offending fervent, all-or-nothing shutdown advocates isn’t limited to Price, but extends to Republicans across the board.
The two most prominent Democrats in the contest, Atlanta psychiatrist Branko Radulovacki and former foundation CEO Michelle Nunn, have both endorsed the timely implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Nunn on Tuesday said a federal shutdown would be “hurtful” to the larger economy.
“One of the things about being a Democrat is that we have more independence right now than our Republican contenders,” she said.