As CNN reports, the Republican-led House of Representatives remains paralyzed by the Tea Party. Today they voted (for the 42nd time) to defund Obamacare as part of the federal budget battle:
By a 230-189 tally almost strictly on party lines, the House passed a short-term government spending plan that would eliminate all funding for Obamacare.
The measure now goes to the Democratic-led Senate, which is certain to reject the provision that defunds President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement of his first term.
Even though House Republicans now have voted 42 times to repeal or otherwise undermine Obamacare, Speaker John Boehner and fellow Republicans held a brief victory rally after Friday's action and challenged the Senate to follow their lead…
…Later Friday, Obama accused conservative Republicans of holding the nation hostage by trying to make passing a federal budget and increasing the debt ceiling contingent on defunding health care reforms.
"You don't have to threaten to blow the whole thing up if you don't get your way," Obama said in a campaign-style speech at a Ford plant in the Kansas City, Missouri area, adding that legislators in Washington were focused on politics and "trying to mess with me," rather than helping the middle class.
House Speaker John Boehner appears completely resigned to doing whatever the Tea Party demands, which will do little more than place the blame on House Republicans if a new budget is not approved in October. Here in Colorado, Senator Mark Udall's campaign was already using the vote in a fundraising pitch via email:
With 10 days to go until the government shutdown, Republicans are playing a game of chicken — with themselves.
In order to appease the party’s far-right wing, Republican House leadership held a vote TODAY to defund Obamacare — or shutter the government and throw our economy into a tailspin. (UPDATE 9:20 a.m. MT this morning: the House passed this non-starter of a bill, 230-189.)
My opponents have already shown they’d fall into the far-right wing of their party — and this issue is no different. Just last night, Ken Buck signed the pledge to defund Obamacare. [Pols emphasis]
Being beholden to the Tea Party is also why Ken Buck still can't be competitive in a race for the U.S. Senate. But hey, maybe he can settle for back-to-back GOP nominations!