Just three months after much of Moore, OK was blown away, foundations left bare by an F-5 tornado, citizens showed up to address ObamaCare and other issues with their Congressman Tom Cole (R). I’ve transcribed the first three audience members who asked/talked about ObamaCare, the first issue to come up after his opening statements. First, some background on Congressman Cole’s position on defunding ObamaCare and don’t miss his reference to Coburn being ‘there’ the last time there was a shutdown. Rush Limbaugh has a great answer for that. Also the woman who says if legislators, executive and judical branches lose their salaries, the shutdown won’t last long. Oklahoman’s get it. So proud to be among them.
Cole (R-OK) has taken a position against defunding ObamaCare. He wants to defund it but believes a vote to do so will shutdown government. He has sided with Barack Obama’s close personal friend, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have put their reputations on-the-line saying emphatically that contrary to Coburn’s position, most of ObamaCare funding is “mandatory” and cannot be cut. The Coburn position, which the generally very conservative Cole supports, shouldn’t be accepted at first blush. Cole and Coburn do not believe in the congressional powers they have at their disposal or are afraid to exercise those powers. Everything in brackets [ ] below are my comments.
Senator Mike Lee interviewed with Rush Limbaugh recently about Coburn’s statements:
LEE: Well, those who are saying we can’t touch this because it’s mandatory spending are simply wrong. They’re simply mistaken, or perhaps they’ve been misinformed.The point is that Congress can decide to pass any kind of spending bill it wants. The fact that you’ve got mandatory spending that’s already been authorized for Obamacare’s implementation doesn’t mean that can’t be cut. We can run this with an amendment — in fact, an amendment has already been drafted up to make it so that we fund everything else in government but we claw back, we restrict funding for Obamacare, both mandatory and discretionary… Source
In the Townhall meeting in the video below at about 10-mins in, Cole is asked about defunding ObamaCare. A Mother tells him he needs to “represent us.”
COLE: Do I want to defund ObamaCare? Absolutely. I voted 40 times to repeal it or delay it. We have been able to pass 7 pieces of legislation…for instance… [and he goes on to reiterate those things Republicans got rid – things we already know about – but ObamaCare is still there]
Now, the question is, do you want to shutdown government if you we that achieve it?
AUDIENCE: [some nods heads yes]
COLE: Well I understand that. Let me talk to you a little bit about the consequences of what a complete government shutdown is [you can listen at 20 mins in. – he insists the Military and Veterans would be defunded]
I’m focusing on Mike Lee’s knowledge that if the House wants to defund only ObamaCare they can do it, because…the House does the spending and because spending is “mandatory” does not mean it is “mandatory” forever. We know it isn’t.
Cole makes the valid point that if the House does defund ObamaCare, the Senate would put it back-in and send the legislation back to the House, and it would cause a complete government shutdown.
This is where political warriors have to step-up. If that happens it is the fault of Democrats who could have kept government moving along but refuse to do so. Remember not one single Republican in either Chamber voted for ObamaCare so defunding is clearly legitimate. Remember Nancy Pelosi’s closed door meetings – not a Republican in the room, and the kickbacks to Democrat dissenters to make it happen. ObamaCare was purchased with your taxpayer dollars at the expense of the U.S. Constitution.
We send our representatives to Washington, DC to stand up for smaller government! This is how Tom Cole can become a Defending Father. We cannot run and hide every time a huge issue raises it’s ugly head. Today every issue is ugly and huge.
Cole says, as does Coburn, he would vote to defund if he thought it would work but he doesn’t think it will work. That’s called letting yourself be backed into a corner and forgetting to take your spine with you.
It will be a shutdown of government by Democrats, not Republicans and if Republicans want to, they CAN get that message out.
1st AUDIENCE MEMBER 14:15 mins in: …I think it’s a false argument from this standpoint. The House could pass two versions, a Continuing Resolution that excludes ObamaCare….The Senate? We know what they’re going to do…but at some point ObamaCare was passed against the will of the people. We looked to our Supreme Court to step-in. They failed us. We’ve looked to our Congressman to do that, and to your credit 40 times you guys have come in a said to get rid of it. Insanity, definition is that we keep doing the same thing again. That’s not going to cut it. This is our last chance. It’s more than just who is going to win the political power play if we shutdown government. It’s about what the future of our country will look like in a decade.
After passing repeal and delays of ObamaCare 40-some-odd times, knowing the Senate would not repeal or delay, shouldn’t we be willing to do the one thing we can do, defund? Negative consequences? Perhaps. But probably not close to the negativity of our future’s reality. A shutdown will be the fault of Democrats, and if Republicans cannot get that message out, they are less than impotent.
Cole responds to her that voters did not give Republicans the Presidency or the Senate, but I would say to him, Republicans did not give Americans ObamaCare.
Cole mentions others in the House and Senate who believe as he does, and he recounts that Coburn was there when a shutdown happened the last time. So glad he brought that up. Here’s what Rush Limbaugh had to say in a conversation with Mike Lee:
RUSH: …Senator, another argument that is made is the dreaded government shutdown argument, that you can’t get where you want to go in the continuing resolution fight without a government shutdown. And then they say, “Look what happened in ’95. We got killed. ’95 ruined us.”
In reality we only got killed in the media. We picked up two Senate seats after the ’95 shutdown. And the House, I don’t think there was great damage. Plus, that budget fight arguably could be said to have set the table for great policy that followed, such as welfare reform that Clinton signed, because it involved people taking a stand. But it’s looked at as a debacle because of the impact it supposedly had on Newt, but it really wasn’t.
Readers, share the above with your representatives who are lamenting the last shut down.
2nd Audience Member 17:34-mins in: If the government shuts down does that mean that the President and Senators and legislators and the judicial people don’t get salaries as well?
2nd Audience Member: That would somehow motivate a Senator or Republican or a President to work on some sort of a thing…if they get no salary.
COLE: That’s fine…but neither would anyone at Tinker Air Force Base.
2nd Audience Member: …they won’t let it go very long without getting salaries…
COLE: I respect the opinion because I share it. I’ve had to deal with this stuff day-after-day as well, and I think it’s a terrible policy. [goes back to needing enough Republicans…EMPTY WORDS]
With all due respect, we pay Rep. Cole to dig in and get dirty every day.
3rd Audience Member 18:30-mins in: So many issues, so little time…I share the concerns of others about ObamaCare…part of the frustration…we say, “okay, this is going to be a monstrosity, please God do something to stop it” and then essentially what we hear back is “well, ya know we would try to do what we can but, man, it’s just too hard, it’s just too difficult.” That really frustrates a lot of people. Once it goes into effect and all the taxes wrapped up in ObamaCare…it’s really going to destroy a lot of things. It’s going to radically change the economy and the country and none of us want to see that happen. We see people on the other side who fight tooth and nail. That’s really the problem – the other side doesn’t care what the rules are. They don’t care what the normal codes of conduct are. All they want to do is win.
There’s a lot more to the video. The 3rd audience member moves on to the NSA which I will cover later. No doubt there is more on ObamaCare as the video continues. Thanks to fellow Oklahoman Anita @redrivergrl who sent the C-Span video link.