Town Hall Season: Rep. McClintock Has Government Shutdown Fever, And That’s Not All

Representative Tom McClintock (R-CA) has vowed that he will not eat green eggs and ham unless we also defund Obamacare.

McCLINTOCK: And so what happens is as we approach the end of the fiscal year on September 30th and the authorization for the federal government to spend money expires, we face the prospect of a government shutdown if something doesn’t happen, and that something is a continuing resolution which essentially puts aside all of that painstaking work on the appropriations bills, has gone into months and months of deliberations, and they simply kick the can down the road for another year. I told the House leadership, I will cut you a lot of slack on the appropriations bills. I understand they have to be reconciled with the Senate, this is a compromising process, they have to be approved by the president. I’ll cut you slack on those. But I am not going to vote for any more continuing resolutions that simply kick that can down the road. Now, I’ll make one exception to that, and that is if we can get a provision in the continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare this year.


There are several parts of it, for example, they’ve delayed the part, the president has asserted a rather horrifying and unconstitutional authority to pick and chose which laws he enforces and which parts of Obamacare he enforces. Now remember Article 2 of the Constitution, it sets up the presidency. What’s the president’s singular responsibility? To see that the laws are faithfully executed. That’s in his oath. He’s not allowed to nullify those laws which he finds objectionable or inconvenient, yet that’s exactly what he’s doing. So he has now temporarily nullified the requirement that your employer buy you an Obamacare health plan but has has left in place that you buy an Obamacare health plan.


If we’re going to delay it outta be by congressional action and it outta be the whole thing at the same time so that’s the one instance under which I will support the continuing resolution otherwise you can count on my no vote.

If you temporarily delay something, it is not “nullified.” That word does not mean what Representative McClintock thinks it means. The president has not nullified the mandate that employers provide health insurance to their employees. He has not unconstitutionally nullified his own law, and why would you have a problem with that anyway?

That mandate, by the way, only applies to businesses with a large number of employees and they’re free to provide health insurance of their choosing. They do not have to purchase a “Obamacare health plan.” Individuals also do not have to buy a “Obamacare health plan” if they don’t want to. You can purchase any insurance you like, or you can choose not to and face an unenforceable penalty.

With that said — it’s remarkable to see Republicans congressmen attack the president for delaying parts of Obamacare. Don’t they want it delayed permanently? If their goal is to repeal it, shouldn’t they be glad that one element of it has been delayed for a year? Why are you complaining that the president has “temporarily nullified” a mandate? Isn’t that a good thing from your perspective?

I’m sure it goes without saying, but nothing the president or the Department of Health and Human Services has done is unconstitutional, and it certainly isn’t horrifying.

[H/T ThinkProgress]

  • D_C_Wilson

    Don’t they want it delayed permanently? If their goal is to repeal it,
    shouldn’t they be glad that one element of it has been delayed for a
    year? Why are you complaining that the president has “temporarily
    nullified” a mandate? Isn’t that a good thing from your perspective?

    Yes, but it still counts as the Evil Kenyan Atheist Muslim Nazi Marxist Usurper doing something. According to Rule #1 in the Teabager’s Handbook of How to Think, “Nothing the Evil Kenyan Atheist Muslim Nazi Marxist Usurper can ever be considered right, even if it’s something you want him to do.”

    • Anomaly 100

      You forgot Maoist.

    • Zen Diesel

      Also add Anti Christ, Bolshevik and Socialist.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      And strangler of puppies and kittens.

  • mrbrink

    Thing is, the ACA as written, passed, and upheld gives nearly full discretion to the Department of Health and Human Services to oversee the law’s bumpy ride to full implementation.

    Once passed, the law took the power out of congress’s hands to micromanage it, which is why they’ve used backdoor fuckery, like 40 full-repeals, or turning down Medicaid expansion in states with Sadists-for-Christ zealots as authority figures, while health insurance corporations have jacked up premiums(“Grandfathering” is a fucked up way to describe fucking with peoples’ lives) virtually without cause because the law will fully prevent them from doing so starting January 1st. Starting January 1st– it’s a whole new world, though not without some minor turbulence. Which is why, for all intents and purposes– Katherine Sebelius is the Captain of this ship. Lucky her. What a thankless fucking job its been. I really admire her service to this country and I’ll never forget it and I’ll always respect her and hold her in very high regard because of it.

    And I get a little frustrated when people frame this law as a gift/windfall to health insurance corporations. Yeah, it lets them live, and thrive, even– but the ACA regulates the shit out of their standards and practices– an unprecedented government check on health insurance corporations, which makes the entire for-profit scheme shriek like a bucket of water on the wicked witch of “fuck-you-pay-me.”

    It does have weaknesses, but it’s strengths, and what it says about the way America now views health insurance, is worth every single word and bump along the way in defense of it.

    • IrishGrrrl

      Amen, can I get a witness!

      • mrbrink


  • GrafZeppelin127

    One wonders if Congresscritters like McClintock are really this ignorant of how the executive branch works, or if they’re just counting on the ignorance of their audience.

    • Mike_Norris


    • D_C_Wilson


    • muselet

      Tom McClintock is a full-blooded Righty who represents a wingnutty chunk of the state. I really don’t think he’s pandering, I think he actually believes every word that falls out of his pie hole (heaven help us, he’s sincere!).

      A little evidence from Project Vote Smart.

      So yeah, ignoramus.


    • nathkatun7

      Trust me, McClintock is truly that ignorant! Obviously, I am not sure who is more ignorant: McClintock or the people who voted for him.