It was the fight that Americans had been waiting and hoping for. Conservatives were finally getting Washington to start listening to the American people and take decisive steps toward delaying and eventually stopping Obamacare. While the majority of Americans applauded our efforts and encouraged us to stand strong, some characterized our battle as a fight toward an unattainable or impossible goal. Many told me the fight was not worth having at all.
It was worth it. Here’s why:
WHEN OBAMACARE was pushed through Congress in 2010 without having even been thoroughly read by those in the Democratic leadership, a majority of Americans opposed it. Since that time, a number of Obamacare supporters have turned their backs on the president’s takeover of health care. Labor unions have retracted their long-standing support; those who have already seen the high cost of plans under the law have expressed their anger at being misled; and even one of the original architects of Obamacare has described its implementation as an “absolute train wreck.”
Congress has an obligation to represent these concerns – both old and new – and listen to the voice of “we the people.” That’s what this fight was all about. We listened, we took a stand and we fought to protect Americans from the pain and suffering this law will surely inflict on them and their families.
To those who supported our message to stop Obamacare but urged us to have the fight another day, let me remind you that the Republican House has voted more than 40 times to repeal this disastrous law. Yet, the Senate refused to acknowledge the cries of the American people and stop this law. Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had all but stalled the normal legislative process, the only way for conservatives to have stopped this law before its Oct. 1 rollout was to defund it using the appropriations process. This was our last chance to stop Obamacare before going into effect, and we used all possible avenues to do it.
I AM HOPEFUL that our fight has empowered the American people and strengthened their voice. When my colleagues and friends, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, courageously took a stand against Obamacare months ago, they were told that a bill to defund Obamacare would never come to the House floor; that it was simply impossible. The American people contacted their representatives and held their feet to the fire, and weeks later, the House passed a bill to do just that.
From the beginning, this has been about what the people want. It is my hope that this will set a precedent for things to come.
Although our first battle has come to an end, our efforts were not lost. Our fight serves as a wake-up call to Democrats and Republicans alike that conservatives are not afraid to stand up to the Washington establishment, and those who aim to protect the status quo. Any battle fought wholeheartedly on one’s beliefs and convictions is not a battle lost, especially with the backing of the American people.
Make no mistake – this war will continue and will end in victory, when in 2017, a new president signs into law legislation that will repeal Obamacare once and for all.
(The writer has represented Georgia’s U.S. House District 10 since 2007.)