NR Digital

A Dialogue on Defunding

by Ramesh Ponnuru
Should opponents of Obamacare be willing to shut down the government?

So why are all the Republicans in Washington, D.C., yelling at each other right now?

A bill, called a continuing resolution, has to be enacted for all the operations of government to be funded. Without it, there will be a partial government shutdown. One group of Republicans, led by Senators Ted Cruz (R., Tex.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah) and including a minority of House Republicans, thinks that Republicans should refuse to pass any such bill unless it takes funding away from Obamacare. They argue that if they hold firm long enough, they will win. Most Republicans say that it won’t work: The public will hold a shutdown against Republicans, they won’t be able to sustain their position, and the battle will end with Republicans discredited and Obamacare more entrenched than ever. The defunders call the Republicans who disagree with their strategy the “surrender caucus.”