Frustrated GOP mad at anti-health law, pro-shutdown strategists

Sen. Cruz at a Defund Obamacare rally sponsored by Heritage Action

About ten days ago, I argued that Sen. Cruz’s plan to defund the Affordable Care Act was terrible strategy and doomed to fail.

And so it has.

Not only have the insurance marketplaces opened, but the huge traffic hitting them led their systems to crash. This shows pent up demand for insurance.

Moreover, more and more stories are appearing about people who will be saving quite a lot of money on health insurance, such as a 34 year old who is saving $6000 a year and a 61 year old who is saving $13,000 a year.

Americans overwhelmingly blame Republicans for the shutdown. That’s because, before it started, Republicans said they would try to force Obama to to halt the ACA by tying this demand to the budget, they had voted over 40 times to defund it, and, well, then Sen. Cruz spent 21 hours on the floor of the Senate railing against the ACA.

And so it doesn’t matter if the House GOP passes a different budget bill version every day or so because Americans remember that the GOP had embarked on the road that produced the shutdown in order to defund and repeal or delay the Affordable Care Act.

Growing GOP frustration has given way to anger toward Sen. Cruz 

Politico reports:

Ted Cruz faced a barrage of hostile questions Wednesday from angry GOP senators, who lashed the Texas tea party freshman for helping prompt a government shutdown crisis without a strategy to end it.

At a closed-door lunch meeting in the Senate’s Mansfield Room, Republican after Republican pressed Cruz to explain how he would propose to end the bitter budget impasse with Democrats, according to senators who attended the meeting. A defensive Cruz had no clear plan to force an end to the shutdown — or explain how he would defund Obamacare, as he has demanded all along, sources said. . .

“It was very evident to everyone in the room that Cruz doesn’t have a strategy – he never had a strategy, and could never answer a question about what the end-game was,” said one senator who attended the meeting. “I just wish the 35 House members that have bought the snake oil that was sold could witness what was witnessed today at lunch.” . . .

Many Senate Republicans publicly and privately scoffed at the Cruz tactics, arguing that he was making a false and politically damaging promise that he could use the funding bill to gut Obamacare — since the law moved forward anyway on Tuesday despite the government shutdown. They argued President Barack Obama would never agree to gut his signature law.

On behalf of Heritage Action and other similar groups, Cruz pushed the House GOP to tie defunding the ACA to bills funding the government. Now he bears the brunt of his fellow Republican Senators’ frustration and anger.

Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.