DeMint On Defunding Obamacare: People Must Speak Up

South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint unexpectedly quit Congress this  winter, saying essentially that he could better advance the conservative cause  as president of the Heritage Foundation think tank than in Congress.

Roughly eight months later, DeMint has no doubt pressed Congress, and House  Republicans in particular, to take a conservative stance on such issues as the  Farm Bill and President Obama’s health care law.

Heritage and DeMint won at least a partial victory on the recent Farm Bill  vote, getting the House to split funding for food stamps from the rest of the  bill but saying more reform is needed on the billions being spent on crop  subsidies and other programs. And votes of sequestration, the debt limit and  immigration are also on the near horizon.

But DeMint’s biggest challenges to date appears to lie in the weeks ahead  when Congress returns in two weeks to vote on a temporary spending bill, which  DeMint hopes will not include money for ObamaCare.

“We know that ObamaCare is unfair,” DeMint has said repeatedly over the past  few months, as dismantling the law has emerged as a primary focus. “It’s  unaffordable, unworkable and very unpopular. And this might be our last chance  to stop it. … This is an urgent matter.”

DeMint is trying to put the specter of a shutdown on Obama, saying the  president will be to blame should he insist on keeping his “flawed law” on the  negotiating table.

Others in the Tea Party movement such as Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul  have said the GOP — by controlling one-third of government with the House  majority – has an obligation to challenge the bill, then hope for a House-Senate  compromise.

However, the Democrat-controlled Senate will likely never agree to the  so-called “defunding” of ObamaCare, nor would the president sign such an  agreement, which would give DeMint little more than a symbolic victory.

“It’s an uphill battle unless the people in the country speak up,” DeMint  acknowledged to Fox News on Friday, at about the midway point of Heritage Action  for American’s nine-city Defund ObamaCare Town Hall Tour.

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