In 2011, House Republicans didn’t ask Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for a whip count or Barack Obama which pen he’d wield. Instead, they passed a spending bill that President Obama said contained “deep cuts that will undermine our ability to out-educate, out-build, and out-innovate the rest of the world.”
As the months ticked by, House Republicans began winning the public debate, which led to actual legislative victories. Those legislative victories, while small, were made possible because House Republicans didn’t negotiate with themselves. They didn’t take options off the table. Instead, they were fighting to uphold the mandate given to them by the American people.
If Republicans want to have a real debate over Obamacare – and they absolutely should – another raft of symbolic votes is unlikely to advance the national dialogue. Concrete and determined action will, though.
Throughout August, pro-Obamacare groups have followed Heritage Action around the country. Those groups have been attempting to rally support – a dozen people here, a couple dozen there – for Obamacare this August. Meanwhile, Heritage Action, along with the Heritage Foundation, Rafael Cruz and other conservatives, has served as a catalyst for anti-Obamacare events and rallies across the country.
A battle over this unworkable, unaffordable and increasingly unpopular law is waging. The only question is whether House Republicans will ask Harry Reid’s permission before they come to the aid of the American people.