Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks’ endorsements of Graves’ plan.
Amid growing concerns that House Republicans will be unable to find the votes to pass a Continuing Resolution to before the end of the month, Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) has proposed a measure that would keep the government open while also delaying implementation of ObamaCare until 2015.
House Republicans leaders tried some legislative trickery by proposing a Continuing Resolution that wouldn’t defund ObamaCare. Division in the party’s ranks caused the leaders to delay a vote on the measure and threaten the cancelation of the September recess.
“After weeks of working with and listening to members on how to approach the government funding deadline, it’s clear that House Republicans are united around two goals: keeping the government open and protecting our constituents from the harmful effects of Obamacare,” said Graves, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “Today, my 42 cosponsors and I are putting forward a plan that achieves both goals.”
Graves says the plan is “straightforward.” The measure funds the government a post-sequester levels, with the exception of defense and national security, while keeping true to House Republicans’ desire to delay and defund ObamaCare.
“[O]ur plan will achieve fairness for every American by fully delaying and defunding Obamacare until 2015,” added Graves. “This approach builds upon the Obama Administration’s policy of delaying portions of Obamacare and relieves taxpayers of the burden of funding a program that is not being implemented.”
Co-sponsors of the measure include Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Tom Price (R-GA), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Jim Bridenstine (R-OK).
It remains to be seen whether the measure will come up for a vote in the House, though it appears that House leadership is not standing in the way.
“[Graves is] certainly working to get a vote and has been in many meetings with leadership this week,” said an aide to the Georgia Congressman. “So far, leadership has not expressed any objections [to the measure].”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), one of the leaders of the defund ObamaCare push in the Senate, expressed support for Graves’ measure.
“Congressman Tom Graves has introduced a bill today that would continue to fund all the functions of government and protect the American people from ObamaCare for at least one year,” said Lee in a statement from his office. “The House should pass this legislation immediately and send it to the Senate.”
“The president has delayed the implementation of ObamaCare for big business, unions, and his special interest supporters. Congress should act to delay it for the rest of the country, as well,” he added.
In a statement released this morning, the Club for Growth, a DC-based organization that advocates for free market economic policies, endorsed Graves’ plan.
“The Club for Growth strongly supports the legislation offered by Congressman Tom Graves to save America from Obamacare,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “Obamacare has already done immeasurable damage to economic growth, and even labor unions like the AFL-CIO think that it should be repealed. Republicans, Democrats, and independents are united in opposition to this horrible piece of legislation and momentum is building to stop it.”
FreedomWorks, a grassroots service center with more than 6 million activist members, also strongly backs the measure.
“We can fund the government without funding ObamaCare. The health care law has undergone over 20 delays and revisions to-date, including exemptions for connected corporations, Congressional staff, and the IRS,” said FreedomWorks President and CEO Matt Kibbe. “If the law isn’t ready to be implemented, the American people should not be paying for it. We are very happy to see Tom Graves stepping up and using every option on the table to dismantle this expensive and coercive law.”