Across the country, Republican lawmakers have faced angry crowds asking questions about how the GOP plans to deal with Obamacare. Yesterday, at a press conference, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) drew a line in the sand declaring that it was time for real Republican leadership.
"They got us in to this mess," Senator Cruz declared, "and they will get us out. It's like the Pottery-Barn rule: They broke it! They bought it!" His plan, outlined in a congressional memo to Republicans in the House and Senate, called for: No raising of the Debt Ceiling and no funding of the government until elected Democrats passed a complete, "clean" repeal bill rolling back Obamacare in its entirety.
"After that," Cruz said, "after this 'reset button,' we can take stock and pass some real bi-partisan legislation that all Americans can get behind."
He stated that the Senate Republicans had shown a willingness to back Democrats on the repeal bill provided it was entirely free of additional measures designed to help their states or districts.
"Public sentiment is, we feel, divided," Cruz told his audience. "There may well be some political cost for this move--but let us not kid ourselves: if bold moves need to be made, there is no reason the Republicans, who did not cast one single vote for this bill, should bear the cost. If people are angry about the disposition of Obamacare, they should be able to clearly place the blame where it belongs--on the Democrats."
The strategy was cheered by Republican lawmakers who felt they could avoid the press and town-hall meetings until the budgetary concerns were addressed. "We know the biased media will paint us as the hostage-takers," said David Brat (R-Va) "but our voters will know the truth. Also, if the bill is created and pushed by Democrats, the media lies will be pretty transparent, won't they?"
The White House, while staying neutral, indicated that it found Cruz's plan to be a good one. "We're not sure exactly what the government funding does, really," said a source inside the White House. "Our initial examination shows that we'll still get paid regularly. We think it may have something to do with National Parks, which, who cares? Definitely not our voters."
When asked about the Debt Ceiling which, if not raised, would prevent America from paying its creditors, the White House was equally unconcerned. "Trump's position is that he's done this before," our source said. "It's a big part of his negotiating strategy. If people want their money back--let them sue us. We're pretty sure the highest court in the land will back our side."