Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on Monday night urged voters to replace any Republican lawmaker unwilling to vote to defund ObamaCare during next month’s budget showdown.
DeMint, the president of the Heritage Foundation, dismissed fears that Republicans would be blamed for a government shutdown, as they were in the 1990s.
“The risk of that is so much less than the risk to our country if we implement ObamaCare, and so I’m not as interested in the political futures of folks who think they might lose a showdown with the president,” DeMint said at a town-hall meeting hosted by Heritage Action, the think tank’s political arm, in Fayetteville, Ark., the first stop on a nine-city tour.
“I think [President Obama] knows that Republicans are afraid, and if they are, they need to be replaced,” DeMint told NPR in an interview after the event.
The Heritage Foundation and its political arm, Heritage Action for America, are part of a strong conservative grassroots effort to defund ObamaCare amid concerns from establishment Republicans that it would be a political loser because the inevitable result would be a government shutdown, which they fear could cost them in next year’s mid-term election.
Conservative Republicans pushing the effort in both chambers say that they want to fund the federal government, just not ObamaCare, and have put the prospect of a government shutdown in the hands of President Obama.
Just last week, Heritage Action released a poll showing support defund the 2010 healthcare law in 10 congressional districts and they’ve launched a $500,000 ad campaign on the issue, targeting 100 House Republicans who have yet to voice support to target ObamaCare.