Very much in the spirit of my blog post earlier today, AEI economist Stan Veuger sensibly points out the flaws in the GOP’s “defund Obamacare” strategy. It’s bad practical politics:
But if Republicans demand that the president defund, delay or repeal his main domestic-policy accomplishment, the president says no … and the government shuts down, moderate voters are likely to think: “Well, that’s a bit uncalled for. Why would Republicans think that the president was going to torpedo his whole agenda?” It will make Republicans look irresponsible, it will divert attention from President Obama’s muddled Syria policy, it will make it less likely that they win back the Senate and the White House in the near future and, as a consequence, ultimately make it harder, not easier, to reform or repeal Obamacare.
And it’s also constitutionally dubious:
It is not a good moment to ask for the full surrender of all power to one house of Congress: if that were what the founders had in mind, they would not have gone through the trouble of creating a second house of Congress and an executive branch to jointly deal with budgetary issues.
And let me add that the GOP negotiating position would be much stronger if they demonstrated some consensus on real-world healthcare reform to de facto replace Obamacare. Also not sure that Republicans should, as part of a debt ceiling deal, exchange a one-year delay of the individual mandate and other aspects of the law for ending the sequester cuts. Again, GOP not likely to come out ahead politically, plus there’s the potential damage that could be inflicted on the economy.