Norquist Sees Obamacare Delay as Better Strategy Than Defunding

Wednesday, 28 Aug 2013 07:36 AM

By Dan Weil and David Nelson

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Republicans in Congress would be better off working to delay the Affordable Care Act, rather than trying to defund it, says Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

He'd love to see defunding, but the Democratic Senate won't approve it, and even if it did, President Barack Obama wouldn't sign the bill, Norquist told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.

"If they don't do it, then you have to have plan B," he said. "Plan B, which is delay everything a year, has several advantages."

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First, there are seven Democratic senators who have to run in red states, Norquist says.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is About to Strike — Are You Prepared?

"They're terrified of Obamacare starting to take effect. . . . They might well prefer to delay it a year or even two to get it past the election." That could attract enough votes in the Senate for passage.

And when it comes to Obama, he already has delayed pieces of the healthcare law, also known as Obamacare, "to pay off his big business friends, his insurance company friends, his labor union friends and all of the congressional staffers," Norquist said.

"They get delays. You don't. We can talk about that for the next two months and embarrass the heck out of him and every Democrat running for [Congress] and say delay it for everyone, not just your fat cat friends, Mr. President."

The strategy of some GOP congressmen to insist on defunding Obamacare, even if that leads to a government shutdown, doesn't make sense, Norquist says.

"You go away from the delay or fix or radically change or abolish Obamacare, which is a popular position with the electorate, to the unpopular position of let's go over a cliff and go to the unknown of a government shutdown where there's no budget and guess what, the president gets to make all of the decisions. That's not a world I want to live in."

Polls show even Republicans don't back a government shutdown over Obamacare, Norquist says.

"On delay, the country's with you and the president has done delays for his friends. Now he needs to do them for us. It is a much stronger narrative for us and one that might well win."

Another important issue for Republicans is maintaining the automatic government spending cuts (sequester) that began in March, Norquist says.

"We've actually brought spending down as a percentage of the economy to below where it was the day Obama came into office," he said. "Imagine what that means. The Republican House stopped all the new stimulus spending."

Obama was able to obtain an approximately $800 billion spending package for his first two years in office. But he failed to get the $400 billion a year he wanted to spend after that, Norquist says.

"We need to protect the budget caps and the sequester, which limit discretionary spending by the Pentagon and by the welfare state, and that's what has actually trended down spending from where it was going."

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is About to Strike — Are You Prepared?

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