Bachmann ‘disappointed’ with House GOP leaders over continuing resolution that doesn’t defund ‘Obamacare’

Rep. Michele Bachmann
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Rep. Michele Bachmann

HAMPTON FALLS, N.H. – Michele Bachmann said Friday she was “a little disappointed” with House GOP leaders over their not insisting on the full rescinding of $105 billion already authorized to fund the health reform law, telling a crowd of activists here that “you don’t win if you don’t fight.”

Bachmann asked Republican leaders this week to refuse outright any bill that continues funding the federal government unless it also defunds the health reform law – including pulling back the $105 billion that was already authorized for implementation in the law itself.

However, when the latest three-week continuing resolution was released Friday morning, it contained $6 billion in cuts but didn’t include the defunding provision. Bachmann deemed that effort unacceptable, saying they just got a “tiny little cut for three weeks,” and pledged to vote no.

“It’s your state that fired the shot that was heard around the world, you are the state of Lexington and Concord (sic), you started the battle for liberty right here in your backyard,” Bachmann told a group of Republican activists at a fundraiser here on New Hampshire’s sea coast. “And the question to my fellow members of the House, and there are some, when will we start the battle for liberty in Washington D.C.?

“When will we start the battle? I’m not seeing it, I don’t know about you. President Obama did a press conference today, and he was on offense. We need to get on the field.”

Bachmann has pledged to vote against any further government funding bills until the health reform law is fully defunded or overturned, saying Republicans must use their leverage in holding the House and risk a government shutdown if necessary to insist on the cuts.

One of the first bills passed by the GOP-led House was a full repeal of the health care law, though the measure is unlikely to get picked up in the Democrat-held Senate. However, Republicans have so far been unwilling to insist on a full defunding by refusing to sign on to any more spending measures unless such a provision is in there.

To do so would almost certainly mean a protracted government shutdown because Democrats in the Senate and President Obama wouldn’t go for it.

GOP leaders have said continuing resolutions are just a stop gap measure to additional cuts, and that they’ll demand more and more as time goes by. The full list of cuts in this CR can be found here.

“The short-term funding measure introduced in the House today will give the American people another round of spending cuts as they wait for the Democrats who run Washington — in the Senate and White House — to determine a position other than the status quo,” said Speaker John Boehner. “The People’s House has already taken a clear position, passing legislation through a wide-open process that reflects the priorities of the American people, both in terms of how much should be spent, and how it should be spent.”

Boehner’s office did not immediately return a message seeking a response to Bachmann’s comments, but I’ll update here if and when they do.

Support for showdown unknown

It’s unclear how much support Bachmann has in the House GOP caucus for such a line in the sand though. Just six Republicans voted against the two-week continuing resolution that expires at the end of next week (Minnesota’s three other Republicans, John Kline, Erik Paulsen and Chip Cravaack, all voted in favor).

There’s certainly plenty of opposition on the GOP side to risking a government shutdown. As he introduced this latest continuing resolution, Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers of Kentucky said a government shutdown “is not an option, period.”

“While short term funding measures are not the preferable way to fund the government, we must maintain critical programs and services for the American people until Congress comes to a final, long-term agreement.”

Bachmann and Iowa’s Steve King have begun whipping Republicans to support a showdown measure. In a letter to GOP leaders earlier this week (and circulated widely beyond that), the pair wrote:

While some have argued that our defunding efforts in the CR should be limited only to those annual funds actually provided by the CR, we disagree,” they wrote. “If we do not stand our ground on the CR, leverage it as the ‘must pass bill’ that it is, and use it to stop the $105.5 billion in automatically appropriated funds, ObamaCare will be implemented on our watch, we will have conceded a significant amount of ground on this issue, and we will find it difficult, if not impossible, to regain the strategic advantage in future legislative vehicles.

Tea Party Patriots, a group frequently allied with Bachmann, sent a message to its membership asking them to call their members of Congress and demand the health reform funding rescission in this continuing resolution.

Several influential conservative groups, including the Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council have also indicated opposition to the continuing resolution for a number of additional or other reasons. FRC President Tony Perkins, for example, blasted GOP leaders for not including a provision to strip Planned Parenthood of its funding.

Bachmann is in New Hampshire this weekend for her first trip here as a presidential aspirant. She has said she plans to make a decision on whether or not to run for president by early summer.

Note: The battles at Lexington and Concord, which began the American Revolution, were actually fought in Massachusetts, about an hour south of Hampton Roads. It’s a sometimes-confused detail, as there is a Concord that’s the capital city of New Hampshire, but that’s not the same one as the battle site.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Larry Copes on 03/12/2011 - 08:51 am.

    It wasn’t exactly the point of this piece, but I had a strange reaction to Bachman’s “You don’t win if you don’t fight.”

    I guess she’d say Jesus was a loser.

    And I thought she claimed to be a Christian.

  2. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 03/12/2011 - 01:28 pm.

    I’m wondering when SP will tell her to tone down the rhetoric. You know, so no one gets hurt and everything?

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/12/2011 - 02:12 pm.

    Be interesting to see how Bachmann’s verbal diarrhea plays in 2012. She may get ‘recalled’ with Walker!

  4. Submitted by Dick Novack on 03/12/2011 - 04:45 pm.

    Bachman on Lexington and Concord brings to light her hiring ability. Where does she get the staffers that feed her data as she travels? Reps, Sens, & Pols, with whom I am familiar, have people at their ear full time keeping them current on people, places and things.

    However same day, from the Concord (NH) Monitor newspaper, on a story picked up from Fosters Daily Democrat newspaper, that went nationally viral on the Barrington NH GOP Representative who wants to save money by eliminating mentally deficient people.

    Given that NH people elected a 91 year old first time representative who wants to eliminate a class of citizens, Can someone tell me why then is NH so valuable in the overall American political process?

    Latest update from Foster’s

  5. Submitted by Vincent Amoroso on 03/13/2011 - 08:10 am.

    You are letting Michelle Bachmann off way too easily. MA and NH are very different socially, politically, ethnically, and culturally. Confusing them because they are close geographically is like saying the Redskins and the Ravens are the same team.

    There is no Lexington in NH. The first shots of the American Revolution were fired as the sun rose over Lexington Common. The militia had been warned that the British were coming by the midnight ride of Paul Revere, who had ridden out from Boston a few hours earlier. After this battle, the British continued west to Concord, MA, where they were turned back by fierce resistance from Minutemen who rushed to Concord from many of the surrounding Massachusetts towns. The British were forced to march back to Boston under a withering crossfire.

    Rep. Bachmann may oppose the politics of Massachusetts, but that does not entitle her to rewrite American history.

    Then again she has done that before. Rep. Bachmann previously demonstrated her ignorance of our founding fathers when she said: “the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States”.

    For someone who claims to represent the values of the founding fathers, she seems to know precious little about them. Worse still, what she thinks she knows is often wrong.

    P.S. As your dateline says, Rep. Bachmann was speaking in Hampton Falls, NH. However, your correction refers to Hampton Roads, which is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk-Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, approximately 650 miles from Hampton Falls, NH.

  6. Submitted by Brad Peterson on 03/13/2011 - 04:17 pm.

    Regarding MB’s comments in NH. I think there is a possibility that it isn’t an actual mistake. Here is what she said:

    “What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty. You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.”

    It seems to me that she is just trying to confuse history a bit to fit her political ideology. I doubt the echo chambers in which her base resides have given real coverage of the mistake, so her followers only hear that the revolution started in good old libertarian New Hampshire, not that dirty liberal Massachusetts. More distorted view of reality.

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