The internal turmoil in the Republican Party has been on full display over the last few days. In the latest example of GOP infighting, the party is divided about whether or not they should threaten to shut down the federal government if Obamacare is not defunded. Republican leaders, including 13 Senators have signed on to this stunt while others in their party including many Republican Governors and members of Congress are calling the plan, “dishonest” “hype” “silly” and “really dumb.”

It’s clear what today’s Republican party is focused on- partisan infighting and political stunts. While Republicans are deciding whether or not they should shut down the government, costing people jobs and vital services, Democrats are continuing to build on the progress we've made to expand access to education, healthcare, a secure retirement and to create good middle class jobs that pay decent wages.


13 Senators Have Signed On To The Plan To Shut Down The Government If Obamacare Is Not Defunded.  Marco Rubio, Chuck Grassley, Mike Crapo, Jim Risch, Rand Paul, David Vitter, Deb Fischer, Jeff Chiesa, Jim Inhofe, John Thune, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Mike Enzi have signed on to support the pledge to shut down the government if Obamacare is not defunded.  [, accessed 8/5/13]

Nearly 200,000 Supporters Have Signed The “Don’t Fund Obamacare” Petition.  As of August 5, 2013 the petition on had 198,287 signatures.  [, accessed 8/5/13; “Steve Malzberg Show,” Newsmax TV, 8/1/13

Conservative Groups Support Shutting Down The Government To Defund Obamacare.  “A who's who of conservative leaders is pushing the House to pass a government funding bill without money for ObamaCare, a move they acknowledge could cause a government shutdown.  The conservatives, including Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform and RedState Editor-in-Chief Erick Erickson, told Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to seize what they called the ‘best and last chance’ to stop ObamaCare before its major provisions take effect. Passing a government funding bill without money for ObamaCare ‘will give the president and Senate Democrats a choice: Continue funding the government, or shut down the government on behalf of an unpopular law,’ the leaders wrote. […]  More than 50 leaders signed the Heritage letter, including Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe, American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas, ForAmerica Chairman Brent Bozell, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, National Taxpayers Union President Duane Parde and Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly.”  [The Hill, 7/30/13]


Paul Ryan:  “There Are More Effective Ways Of Achieving” The Goal Of Repealing Obamacare.  ““We, all Republicans, want to repeal and replace Obamacare. … We’re having a debate about the best way of achieving that goal, the best strategy…Rather than sort of-swinging for the fences and take this entire law out … I think there are more effective ways of achieving that goal.  We think we can do better by delaying this law. … I think there is going to be a better strategy to actually achieve our goal of ultimately delaying and ultimately replacing Obamacare.” [“Face the Nation,” CBS, 8/4/13]

Tom Coburn:  Cruz’s Scheme Is “Dishonest,” “Hype.”  “The defunding effort is being led by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and also includes high-profile supporters Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky. Coburn sees political ambition in the effort. ‘It’s a denial of reality mixed with a whole bunch of hype to promote groups and individuals who are saying, ‘I’m going to give you hope’ for something that we can’t do,’ Coburn said. ‘The underlying premise is intellectually dishonest. … Creating false expectations and being less than honest about how you’re going to do this is the worst of politics.’” [Washington Examiner, 7/26/13]

Lindsey Graham:  “This Is Not Really What The Public Is Interested In.”  “Some Republicans point out that even if funding for Obamacare is eliminated in the continuing resolution, much of the law will still stand because of mandatory health care spending enacted under the Affordable Care Act. Many Republicans have stark memories from the Clinton-era shutdown fights and believe the GOP took the lion’s share of the blame for a politically disastrous fight. ‘We should do everything we can to delay the individual mandate for a year. But my view is that this is not really what the public is interested in. You shut the government down: That means people lose Social Security checks,’ said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). ‘I don’t think linking the two is a very good idea.’” [Politico, 7/31/13]

Saxby Chambliss:  Cruz’s Plan Would “Do Great Harm To The American People.”  “I appreciate Sen. Cruz’s passion, his intent to want to defund Obamacare. I’d love to do it, too, but shutting down the government and playing to the hands of the president politically is not the right thing to do.  Plus, it’s going to do great harm to the American people if we pursued that course.”  [“Meet the Press,” NBC, 8/4/13]

Richard Burr:  Shutting Down The Government Over Obamacare Is “The Dumbest Idea I’ve Ever Heard.”  “Burr argued stopping ObamaCare's funding is not going to be achievable as long as President Obama is in the White House, and that Republicans risked taking the blame if they forced the government to shut down over the issue. […]  ‘I think it's the dumbest idea I've ever heard,’ Burr told journalist Todd Zwilich on Thursday. ‘Listen, as long as Barack Obama is president the Affordable Care Act is gonna be law.’” [The Hill, 7/26/13]

Roy Blunt:  “This Plan Won’t Work.”  “’This plan won’t work,’ Blunt told reporters Wednesday. Blunt noted that he has been a leading congressional critic of the health reform law, arguing that it will hurt businesses and will not improve health care. But ‘there are more effective approaches (to opposing the law) than tying it to a government shutdown,’ Blunt said. ‘I don’t think this is a good way to solve this problem. It’s not strategically going to get us where we need to be.’” [Springfield News-Leader, 7/31/13]

• Blunt:  “You Could Easily Lose Ground” By Shutting Down The Government.  “Indeed, Blunt said, such a move could end up hurting Republicans, who might shoulder significant blame if the federal government shutters amid a spat over health reform.  ‘You could easily lose ground ... by driving this to a conclusion to where there’s a government shutdown,’ Blunt said.”  [Springfield News-Leader, 7/31/13]

Bob Corker:  The Plan To Shut Down The Government To Defund Obamacare Is “A Silly Effort.”  “Corker:  Oh, I think it's a silly effort.  What people are really saying who are behind that effort is we don't have the courage to roll up our sleeves and deal with real deficit and spending decisions. We want to take ourselves out of the debate and act like we're being principled to the America people by saying, 'If there's one dime of funding for Obamacare we're not going to vote for the CR.'  I don't look at that as very courageous.  Most of us see through it and realize that these people are really just taking themselves out of the debate. We've got an opportunity to get our country right as it relates to fiscal issues. We've taken some big steps and when people take themselves out of the game like this, I think people see through it and understand what's taking place."  [“The Daily Rundown,” MSNBC, 7/30/13]

Orrin Hatch:  “He’s Not Going To Win On That, And That Will Open Republicans Up To All Kinds Of False Criticism.”  “But Hatch does not support a move by his fellow Senate Republican, Mike Lee, to defund the beleaguered healthcare law in the next fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.  The move could shut down the government.  ‘He's not going to win on that, and that will open the Republicans up to all kinds of false criticism,’ he says. ‘I don't think he would win on that. I don't think that's the way to do it’  ‘We have to continue to make our case against Obamacare, and we're winning that case," Hatch says. "The American people understand that, and frankly, there are better ways of winning on that issue.’”  [Newsmax, 7/26/13]

Deputy Majority Whip Tom Cole:  “It’s Just Not Helpful. And It Is The Sort Of Thing That Creates A Backlash And Could Cost The Republicans The Majority In The House”  “Cole: Seems to me there’s appropriate ways to deal with the law, but shutting down the government to get your way over an unrelated piece of legislation is political equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum.  It’s just not helpful. And it is the sort of thing that creates a backlash and could cost the Republicans the majority in the House, which is after all the last line of defense against the president. And it could materially undercut the ability of the Republicans in the Senate to have the majority in 2014 which they have a decent chance to do.”  [“Special Report with Bret Baier,” Fox News, 7/24/13]

Sen. Richard Shelby Said “It’s Foolish” Not To Fund The Government. “Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) also chimed in on the matter, telling reporters on Capitol Hill ‘it's foolish’ not to fund the government.” [Huffington Post, 7/25/13]

Rep. Peter King: “The American People Get Turned Off With The Threat Of Terror Politics.” King: “There's no reason to be threatening to bring down the government, let’s make this work get spending cuts we need but the American people get turned off with the threat of terror politics." [CNN’s State of the Union, 7/28/13]


Walker Opposed Congressional Republicans Plan To Shut Down The Government To Block Financing For Obamacare Saying He HadReal Concerns That It “Would Have A Negative Impact On The Economy.” New York Times wrote on Republican governors warning their counterparts in Congress not to shut down the federal government to block financing for President Obama’s health care law: “‘I have made the case that Obamacare is not good for the economy, but I have some real concerns about potentially doing something that would have a negative impact on the economy just for the short term — I think there are other ways to pursue this,’ said Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who hosted about half of the country’s governors here for the summer meeting of the National Governors Association.” [New York Times, 8/4/13]

• Walker: Shutting Down The Government “Would Affect All 50 Of Us” And “The Worst Part Is The Uncertainty… For The Employers Of Our Country”: New York Times wrote on Republican governors warning their counterparts in Congress not to shut down the federal government to block financing for President Obama’s health care law: “The prospect of even a temporary halt to the federal government, they say, would frighten their state’s businesses and disrupt some core services. ‘It would affect all 50 of us,’ Mr. Walker said. ‘The worst part is the uncertainty. My great fear would be anything that provides great uncertainty for the employers of our country.’” [New York Times, 8/4/13]

Jack Dalrymple:  “I’ve Never Felt That Shutting Down Government Function Is A Wise Thing To Do”  Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota said a government shutdown would invariably be blamed on the legislative branch.  ‘I’ve never felt that shutting down government function is a wise thing to do politically because I think, whoever is involved in it, it’s the Congress, regardless of what party they’re affiliated with, that will be blamed by the public,’ Mr. Dalrymple said. ‘And so, to me, I don’t see what it accomplishes.’ Asked if Republicans would pay a political price for a shutdown, Mr. Dalrymple said, ‘Yeah, well, you do.’”  [New York Times, 8/4/13]

Terry Branstad:  Shutting Down The Government “Causes Too Much Disruption And People Don’t Understand.”  “Gov. Terry E. Branstad of Iowa, a Republican who also served four terms as governor in the 1980s and 1990s, pointed to the compromise he reached with his legislature on how to broaden health care coverage for low-income residents without simply accepting the Medicaid expansion that is part of the federal health law. Such efforts on the state level, he said, are what is needed — not more bitter fights in Washington.  ‘It just causes too much disruption, and people don’t understand,’ Mr. Branstad said about using the threat of a government shutdown as leverage. ‘People want problems solved. They’re tired of the gridlock. They’re tired of the fighting.’” [New York Times, 8/4/13]