Over the next two weeks, the sad spectacle that is Washington will be on full display as Congress and President Obama debate yet another short-term spending plan, also known as a continuing resolution (CR).
Early in my Senate term, I realized these short-term CR's were a miserable way to run the federal government and decided I would not go along with this budgetary charade again. I came to the Senate to solve real problems and eliminate the biggest threats standing in the way of the 21st century being another exceptional American century. The people of Florida who I work for didn't send me here to keep postponing hard choices and leave our problems unsolved for future generations to deal with.
And that's exactly what these short-term budgets do. Rather than prioritize government's proper role in American society or fundamentally end the way Washington borrows and misspends money, CR's mostly continue the broken Washington status quo.
With all that said, the CR that Congress will soon consider to keep our dysfunctional government open past September 30 is actually a major opportunity to save our people from the job-killing disaster that is ObamaCare. Because a major piece of its implementation begins on October 1, this short-term budget represents our last chance to stop it by defunding it.
Short-term budgets are a terrible way to run a government, but if we can pass one that defunds ObamaCare, we will be doing America's workers and job creators a huge service that will be worth it.
From the imperfect CR process, defunding ObamaCare would produce a clear-cut victory for American workers and families. Settling for anything less would be devastating to them.
The evidence of ObamaCare's failures is everywhere, and it is staggering. For example, in just the past week, several employers like SeaWorld announced they will be cutting their part-time workers' hours to deal with ObamaCare's tax penalties. The unions that have been the President's staunchest allies, and who were instrumental to passing ObamaCare in the first place, are now condemning it and pleading with the White House to be exempted from it. During the August recess, I repeatedly heard from working class Floridians about how this law would result in reduced hours, reduced pay and the loss of health insurance plans and doctors they currently have.
Despite all the warning signs of failure, what is the President doing? His administration is doubling down by spending Americans’ tax dollars on advertisements promoting this failed policy, and it's sending out celebrities and other allies to convince Americans that ObamaCare is a good thing.
We need to stop this. All of it. And over the next two weeks, we have our last chance to stop ObamaCare by defunding it in the CR.
There is a better way forward to help more Americans obtain affordable and quality health insurance, without sacrificing their jobs, income, current health plans and doctors they're happy with. But stopping ObamaCare by defunding it is the first and most immediate step we need to take.
Time is running out to do it, but not the necessity of doing so.