Secluded at West Virginia’s elegant Greenbrier resort, enjoying the fine dining, relaxing at the spa, indulging at the casino, the Republican Party is in retreat. Not just at a retreat, but in retreat: The GOP has finally, officially, given up on repealing Obamacare.
What’s more, Republican members of Congress are now expressing doubt that the party will be capable of putting together a budget in 2018, let alone using budget reconciliation to bypass Democrat obstruction and pass key components of the Republican legislative agenda. Indeed, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s 2012 promise that Republicans could repeal “85 percent” of Obamacare through budget reconciliation is forgotten, and Republican leadership has moved on.
“I don’t think leadership wants to,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., told Politico, speaking of a new attempt to reform the Affordable Care Act. Cassidy was previously involved in putting forward a watered-down repeal bill, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “In the sense of Graham-Cassidy, a partisan exercise? Doesn’t look like it.”
Leadership confirmed this to Politico.
“It would be a heavy lift. I think everybody knows,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the No. 3 Republican leader. “We sort of tested the limits of what we can do in the Senate last year. And we’re one vote down from where we were then.”
What kind of excuse is that? Do Republicans seriously believe that retreating from the issue that swept them into power in 2010 and 2014 will secure their position in 2018? Are they aware that health care remains the top issue for voters? Are they blind? Do they not see that insurance premiums are still rising under this failed Obamacare regime?
And why are they surrendering the tools they can use to drive their agenda forward?
“I don’t think we’re going to get a budget. And without a budget I don’t think we can do reconciliation,” Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., told Politico. “When you hear the leader speak, he’s speaking about bipartisanship. So I think that’s the direction we’re going to go in this year.”
“Bipartisanship.” By this the senator means Republicans are working to put together a deal that codifies Obama’s illegal amnesty in exchange for vague promises of border security. Here stands the GOP agenda after winning the presidency: Giving illegal aliens amnesty and leaving Obamacare in place to destroy the American health care system.
This is inexcusable. The Democratic Party is melting down, consumed by their own hatred and Trump derangement, and Republicans are not only surrendering the upper hand, they are actively working to enshrine President Obama’s agenda while admitting defeat on their own.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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