WASHINGTON – The Democrats have the White House.
They control the Senate and occupy nearly half of the House of Representatives.
Yet Democrats claim they are being “bullied” by a mere 43 GOP members of Congress.
The Obama administration’s advocacy group, Organizing For Action, or OFA, has targeted House Republicans seeking to defund Obamacare.
OFA sent an email to Obama supporters urging them, “Tell Speaker (John) Boehner to stand up to these bullies.”
In keeping with the theme of schoolyard taunts, the OFA email even compares the GOP drive to defund the unpopular law to a “tantrum,” just as a CNN poll shows public support for Obamacare plummeting below 40 percent.
Forty-two GOP House members co-sponsored a bill by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., to defund and delay the implementation of Obamacare until 2015, while funding the government for another year.
Congress must pass a funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, by Sept. 30 to keep the government funded.
Graves’ measure would increase defense spending above levels mandated by the sequestration budget cuts, while decreasing domestic spending.
The OFA email accuses Republicans of “willing to risk delaying new Social Security benefits and student loans, military pay, and other government services” unless Congress defunds Obamacare.
As WND reported, that is the tactic some Republicans predicted Democrats would take if the House tried to provide funding for all essential government services, but not Obamacare.
But those Republicans feel it is worth the political risk because they see the Sept. 30 funding deadline as their last opportunity to stop Obamacare.
“The best way to do it is to start with a funding mechanism, a continuing resolution, passing in the House of Representatives that funds every other function of government at current levels but just excludes Obamacare funding,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told WND during a radio interview in July.
On Sept. 12, Lee released a statement on Graves’ bill saying, “The House should pass this legislation immediately and send it to the Senate” because the “president has delayed the implementation of Obamacare for big business, unions, and his special interest supporters,” and Congress should delay it for the rest of the country as well.
And, while OFA called those Republicans bullies, a spokesperson for Lee told WND, “They are heroes fighting to protect the American people from this unaffordable and unfair law.”
What is OFA?
OFA was “Obama for America” and was the candidate’s political organization for the 2012 election.
After the president’s re-election, OFA became “Organizing for Action” and began using the massive voter database the organization had collected to push the president’s agenda.
By filing as a social welfare nonprofit under the 501(c)(4) section of the tax code, OFA became eligible to raise unlimited sums of money.
Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager and the chair of Organizing for Action, said in January, “We’ll continue to support the president in creating jobs and growing the economy from the middle out, and in fighting for issues like immigration reform, climate change, balanced deficit reduction, and reducing gun violence.”
In fact, the website address for OFA (BarackObama.com/?source=action-bar) still contains the president’s name.
Critics believe OFA may still be allied with the White House.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., sent letters on Aug. 14 to the EPA and White House Council on Environmental Quality, or CEQ, questioning apparent coordination between CEQ and OFA in “pushing the president’s climate change agenda” and calling it a potential violation of the Hatch Act.
“The OFA activities are clearly political in nature, solely targeting Republican members of the House and Senate for campaign purposes,” Inhofe wrote.
The senator observed, “Clearly OFA is now engaging in political activities and it appears as though they are closely coordinating efforts with EPA and CEQ, negating their independence.”
While OFA declined to promote the president’s unpopular call for a military strike on Syria, it is fighting tooth and nail to defend the president’s unpopular health care law, which it calls “a political battle they (Republicans) lost three years ago.”
Bad week for Obamacare
It was, however, not a good week for Obamacare.
The CNN poll showing support dropping below 40 percent was released Sept. 11.
The Graves bill seeking to delay implementation of Obamacare by a year was introduced Sept. 12.
Two other significant developments occurred on those days.
The AFL-CIO, the largest federation of trade unions in the U.S. and an enthusiastic supporter of Obamacare when it passed in 2010, formally went on the record with major complaints about the health-care law.
The AFL-CIO passed a resolution Sept. 11 rebuking Obamacare, charging it would drive up the costs of its workers’ health plans so profoundly, it would force workers and employers to abandon them.
The House voted 253-147 Sept. 12 to pass the No Subsidies without Verification Act.
That was in response to an IRS plan to allow taxpayers to use “the honor system”in reporting whether they would be eligible for subsidies under Obamacare.
That peculiar situation arose after the administration decided to suspend implementation of the employer mandate until 2015.
Without employee records from employers, the IRS will have no idea who is eligible for what subsidies.
But, because the individual mandate is still in place, the IRS needs to know which subsidies taxpayers will be claiming.
The honor system could cost the government $250 billion in fraudulent payments, according to Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla.
The bill passed by the House would require accurate verification systems before subsidies are issued.