House Rules Say We Can’t Defund Obamacare? Of Course We Can!

We are hearing from many of our representatives that it just isn’t possible to defund Obamacare because the House rules say they can’t. This, as it happens, is just a dodge. The House has defunded separate things while passing the rest of a budget many times.

One of the things that weak-willed Republicans that don’t want to discuss defunding Obamacare say is that the mandatory spending cannot be clocked with an appropriations bill. This is simply not true. In fact, it has been done many times in the past.

The most obvious example is the Hyde Amendment which has renewed every single year since 1976 and prevents the expenditure of federal tax dollars on abortion. It applies both to discretionary spending as well as mandatory spending.

But abortion, you may say, is such a special situation that maybe it should be treated as such and left out of the discussion.

Then let’s do that. Let’s forget the Hyde Amendment. But there is far more evidence that the House commonly makes changes to appropriations.

Another example of goes by the somewhat absurd name of CHiMPS. This is the name bestowed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) upon changes in mandatory spending bills.

As recent as 2011 the House made changes to several bills to save the treasury millions.

In fact, parts of Obamacare have already been defunded when the House eliminated $2.2 billion in the “permanently cancelled” funding to Obama’s co-op health insurance program (P.L. 112-10). Several other parts of Obamacare has also already been defunded and eliminated.

But this is all current examples. The truth is examples like this go back all the way to the 1980s. AsThe Heritage Foundation points out.

Historically, Congress has used the “power of the purse” broadly to make key policy statements through defunding. For instance, in 1982 Congress acted to block the Reagan Administration’s policy for supporting the Contra forces opposing the Nicaraguan government. As part of Public Law 97-377, Congress prohibited both the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency from furnishing military equipment and support to any group for the purpose of overthrowing the Nicaraguan government. Even though defense spending is not funded through mandatory appropriations, the example demonstrates that defunding has been–and remains–a powerful tool Congress can use to affect public policy.

So, when your Congressman tells you that Congress just can’t defund mandatory programs, tell him he and his comrades in the House have already done so and have been doing it for at least 30 years.

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  • jim_m

    Just more evidence that most republicans represent the beltway and not their districts.

  • GarandFan

    Why should Congress care. They’ve got their own health plan.

  • LiberalNightmare

    If the republicans think they can just sit this one out, they are mistaken.

  • Brucehenry
    • jim_m

      So your argument is that you are a juvenile idiot who doesn’t give a damn about the country. I get it. The Wonkette piece is a childish appeal to might makes right and just because the legislation passed that it must never be changed.

      At least the GOP is trying legal ways to get what they want. When obama finds something with the law he doesn’t like he just issues an exemption or declares that he will simply not enforce that part of the law. Both of these actions are illegal and a violation of his oath of office.

      But then you don’t care about the rule of law. You’re a lefty.

      • Brucehenry

        Relax I just thought the article was funny. Especially the picture. Sue me.

        • Jwb10001

          Nothing funny about Obamacare, Bruce. I’m sure the people that have lost their jobs and had their employment reduced to part time aren’t so happy that Obama got some shallow win over republicans getting this POS passed (using BS rules that would have caused your head to exploded had Bush done the same.) It’s filled with unintended consequences that will leave far more people harmed than helped. And before you go off on your standard BS I’m not butt hurt (2 words) and I’m well aware that these are your idea of jokes.

          • Brucehenry

            “Butt hurt” are indeed two words. But they don’t mean anything together. “Butthurt” (one word) has a specific meaning. Get with it. All the coolest kids say “butthurt” on the intertubes.

          • Jwb10001

            Never gonna happen Bruce, butthurt is not a word I’m never coming around to that. No get back to your hizzle and be hanin’ wit your hommies. My spell checker just had a stroke.

          • Brucehenry


            Just so you know, “gonna” isn’t a real word either, but yet everybody knows what it means. “Going to” is two words.

          • Jwb10001

            True enough I guess I’ll have to refrain from using it from no(w) on.

        • jim_m

          Yep. obamacare is a hoot.

          Walgreen’s just announced it was cutting health benefits for 160,000 employees thanks to your lord and savior.

          The Cleveland Clinic is laying off 3000 and planing a $330M cost cutting program in order to deal with obamacare.

          Why don’t you stop laughing and start waking up to the epic disaster that you have inflicted upon this nation. You are nothing but another callous, hateful lefty who thinks they are making everyone’s life better while you are actually making it far worse but are too busy congratulating yourself on how clever you are to bother noticing how you have irreparably damaged the lives of others.

          • Brucehenry

            I’m gonna have to take points off for that run-on sentence.

          • Jwb10001

            Well gee Bruce if it weren’t for our bad grammar and misspelling run-on sentences and other grammatical mis steps you’d have nothing to be butt hurt about other than being a liberal blow hard with an over inflated opinion of yourself and screwed up sense of humor that finds the most idiotic things funny but then I’m just a butthurt rube that can’t write or spell or use punctuation properly so there you go you are clearly far superior. I’m just messin wit ya bro!

          • Brucehenry

            I get it!

            And it’s not so much that I have a high opinion of myself. I just have a low opinion of certain wingnuts. Not even all of them, just certain ones!

          • jim_m

            No, you just make fun of things to diminish the tragedy of them. You make fun of the complaint and the concern because you have no legitimate argument against those complaints. You make fun of the complaints because to admit that obamacare is a failure is to admit that your ideology might be wrong and you KNOW that it is correct because facts don’t matter, only ideology does. You keep on working the ideology until the facts align themselves.

          • jim_m

            Yeah that’s right. Don’t bother addressing content, you might have to admit that Dear Leader was wrong.

          • Brucehenry

            Sorry I didn’t respond immediately. I was unable to type while hanging my head in shame from your epic rebuke.

          • jim_m

            Just another avoidance of having to deal with issues. Coward.

    • 914


    • DERP!

  • Olsoljer

    ………..and then, boys and girls, The Land of The Free, and The Home of The Brave was turned into the Land of the Apathetic and the Home of The Gutless. The End.

  • The house rules committee can go to Hell.

  • Hank_M

    The Stupid party continues to earn its’ name.

    They don’t want to break any rules? While the inhabitant of the WH violates laws he doesn’t like whenever it suits him.

    The stupid party. About to become extinct.

    • Hugh_G