I have a piece up on the main site stemming from my conversation with Rep. Paul Ryan about how entitlement reform is playing out in this year’s elections. During our talk, I also asked him about the possibility of Republicans starving ObamaCare by defunding its implementation should they win control of Congress (which would make Ryan chairman of the Budget Committee). Though he supports repealing ObamaCare, he emphasized that there were limits to the defunding strategy.
Ryan told me:
“Obviously, I’m in favor of anything we can do to stop it, to halt it, but the problem we have is, he has to sign those bills. I get this question every single day, ‘If you take back Congress, you have the power of the purse, just defund the thing.’ Well, yeah, technically speaking, we can put riders in appropriations bills that say, ‘No such funds can go to HHS to do x, y, or z in implementing ObamaCare.’ He’s gotta sign those things. And he doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would sign those things. And so that means we go to a continuing resolution or something like that. So I see a lot of stalemate — not over just whether we defund ObamaCare and cap and trade and FinReg or whatever — because he’s not going to agree to our spending levels anyway. We’re going to cut spending way below where he would go. So I don’t see him signing our spending bills, which are the bills you’d have to pass into law to defund ObamaCare.”
For more on the various arguments Republicans are having over the defunding strategy, check out my article from our July/August issue.