Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has latched onto an issue that, while perhaps popular with the public, is not likely to be looked upon with favor by his fellow senators, especially Democrats. He would like to defund Obamacare under the Continuing Resolution.
Cruz: Defund Obamacare -- at least for now
Cruz has released a statement announcing his intention to offer an amendment to the Continuing Resolution, which will fund the federal government for the rest of the current fiscal year, to eliminate funding for the health care reform law, also known as Obamacare. Cruz notes that economic growth has been anemic in recent years. He suggests that Obamacare, due to the burdens it places on small business and the increases it has caused on insurance premiums, has become a drag on economic growth. Therefore Cruz, who has also introduced legislation to repeal the Obamacare law entirely, suggests that it would be prudent to at least delay funding the measure, at least for now.
Polls show that opposition to Obamacare is on the rise
While support for Obamacare did show a spike in the wake of the election, a recent story by Reason Magazine suggests that opposition to the health care reform law is on the rise again. The article notes a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll that places opposition to Obamacare at 42 percent and support for it at 36 percent. In contrast, a November polls placed support for the law at 43 percent and opposition at 39 percent. Support has dropped among Democrats and pessimism about the law's effects is on the rise. That data suggests that Cruz may be on the right side insofar as public sentiment is concerned.
Cruz's measure has no chance of passing the Senate
The Washington Examiner notes that the Cruz amendment has no chance of passing the Senate that has 55 Democratic members. Supporters of Obamacare are likely to employ the "resistance is futile" rhetorical tactic, by declaring that Obamacare is "settled law" and that holding up the Continuing Resolution in an attempt to defund it would be "extreme." Cruz may still do his cause some good by forcing vulnerable red-state Democrats to vote on his amendment should it get an up or down vote. These Democratic senators, many of whom will be up for re-election, will have to defend their vote to angry constituents. On the other hand, Cruz's amendment may have the effect of dividing Republicans, some of whom have become weary of endless battles over funding the government as well.
Texas resident Mark Whittington writes about state issues for the Yahoo! Contributor Network.