Conservatives backing a move to shut down the federal government if funding isn't cut off for President Barack Obama's health care law by the end of September are launching a tour starting Tuesday to put pressure on leading Republicans in Congress.
The first target of the push by Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The groups are planning a news conference in Lexington, Kentucky, Tuesday, near McConnell's offices. The Republican is running for a sixth term in the Senate next year. The next day the Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica will hold an event in Austin, Texas, near Sen. John Cornyn's office. The number two ranking Senate Republican is also up for re-election in 2014. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia will also be in the groups' sights during the tour, which is scheduled to conclude September 4.
"Sadly, there are scores of hypocritical Republicans who have just been giving lip service to voters at home with no intention of living up to their promises in Washington. How can they tell their constituents that they are opposed to ObamaCare and then vote to have those same constituents pay for it?" wrote Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin and ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell in an op-ed in USA Today.
The fight over defunding ObamaCare is a fight conservatives have spent months itching for. But few thought it could have intensified so fast, especially after President Obama’s reelection triumph and Democrats picked up seats in both chambers of Congress last November.
The threat has grown more and more popular with conservative pundits and talk-radio hosts, and more conservative advocacy groups have joined in. Brent Bozell, the chairman of the advocacy group For America, said he got involved about three weeks ago, after meeting with the senators leading the push.
Activist groups are hoping to pressure House leaders into insisting on defunding in the House CR, which they then hope will translate into support in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
“When it comes time for a serious vote, off to the tall grass they run … I think leadership at this point is tone deft or just flat out cowards,” Bozell said.
As the summer recess for Congress heads to a close, Tea Party groups are trying to pressure Republicans to withhold funding to implement President Obama's health care law this fall.
A cross-country anti-"Obamacare" tour that began Tuesday highlights a divide among Republicans, with some key House and Senate leaders trying to avoid a government shutdown that could damage the party and label the GOP as obstructionist ahead of the 2014 elections.
Tea Party groups, led by For America and the Tea Party Patriots, believe their push will help attract grass-roots support and pressure some Republicans. "This may well be the last opportunity to pull the law back," said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots. "If we don't … stop spending on the law, the law may become completely cemented."
A Facebook posting from ForAmerica on Friday morning has generated at least 5,000 phone calls from conservative activists to House Speaker John Boehner’s office, Breitbart News has learned.
“Everyone knows ObamaCare has to go. But Speaker John Boehner won't fight to defund it,” the conservative group ForAmerica wrote on its Facebook page on Friday shortly before noon ET. “Call the Speaker (877) 976-7521 and tell him to fight to defund ObamaCare now!”
Scott Hogenson, the campaign manager for ForAmerica’s grassroots operation, confirmed to Breitbart News that at least 5,000 people called Boehner’s office over the course of the next few hours. The group tracked the number of phone calls to measure the response using a special 800-number. The calls began around 11:15 a.m. ET on Friday; by early afternoon, more than 5,000 people had called Boehner.
Barr, Guthrie and Yarmuth get an earful about health care law during Lexington hearing
Shortly after the congressional field hearing, two conservative groups held a news conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to kick off the first stop of their "Exempt America Tour." They say they are frustrated with Washington politicians who say they are fighting Obamacare but refuse to defund the law.
"We are here today to call on Sen. McConnell to keep his promise of doing everything he can to stop Obamacare by pledging today that he will fight to defund this monstrosity," said Brent Bozell of Virginia, chairman of ForAmerica.
Bozell said McConnell should join other senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, and vote for a one-year budget that funds the government but not Obamacare.
Conservative Groups Target Cornyn Over ACA
Taking turns speaking in front of the Texas Capitol on Wednesday, a group of critics of the federal Affordable Care Act focused most of their comments on a fellow opponent of the health care law: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
“He is one of those who has been so outspoken in his opposition to this,” Brent Bozell, chairman and co-founder of ForAmerica, an online conservative movement, said of Cornyn. “He has spent so much time telling the voters of Texas how he was doing everything in his power to put an end to it. So far, he’s ducking.”
“We’re here to tell them get some courage, at least honor your promises,” said Tonya Robertson, a Houston-based Tea Party state coordinator.
“If the law isn’t good enough for our lawmakers, the law isn’t good enough for my family or any family in America,” Robertson said.
Tea partiers call for defunding of Affordable Care Act
A tea party group on a national tour stopped by the Texas Capitol on Wednesday to call on Congress to gut the funding for the Affordable Care Act.
Jenny Beth Martin of Atlanta, the national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, and Brent Bozell III, chairman of the Reston, Va.-based conservative organization ForAmerica, led a group of speakers who encouraged Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to stand with the Senate’s most conservative members — such as the other Texas Republican in the Senate, Ted Cruz — to defund the Affordable Care Act, which is often called “Obamacare.”
“The only way to stop the train wreck is for John Cornyn and other Republicans in Congress to stand up and say ‘enough,’ ” Bozell said at press conference, which took place under the hot sun on the south steps of the Capitol. “We are not going to force the American people to pay for this train wreck.”
'Exempt America' Tea Party tour coming to Jackson Thursday
A national Tea Party tour aimed at repealing the Affordable Care Act is coming to town Thursday.
The Tea Party Patriots and ForAmerica will host a joint rally at the state Capitol at noon Thursday. It is part of a multi-state tour pushing Congress to "exempt Americans from Obamacare."
“President Obama has already exempted Big Labor, Big Business and Congress has exempted itself. That leaves the American people on the hook to live under what Sen. Max Baucus, an Obamacare supporter, has called a ‘train wreck,’" Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Jenny Beth Martin said in a press release.