From Staff and AP Reports
AUSTIN – State Rep. Phil King and State Sen. Craig Estes, Parker County’s representatives in the Texas Legislature, signed a letter Tuesday along with 65 other state legislators urging the Texas congressional delegation “to do all that you can to defund Obamacare …”
The letter, coordinated by the Texas Conservative Coalition, notes that although state lawmakers have rejected Obamacare Medicaid expansion and refused to establish a state-run exchange, “some of the most pernicious parts of Obamcare can only be stopped at the federal level.”
“This program has not even been fully implemented and we are seeing dramatic increases in insurance premiums and high costs to our businesses,” King stated. “Our families should not have to bear the burden of an unaffordable and ineffective law.”
Estes on Tuesday issued a message from his Twitter account, saying: “I stand with #GOP members of #TXLege urging Congress to” defund Obamacare.
King said by defunding Obamacare, $1.8 trillion in new spending will be stopped and $771 billion in current and future taxes will be eliminated.
“Texans must stand strong in urging Congress to fund the federal government while defunding Obamacare,” King said.
State Rep. Geanie W. Morrison, who serves as TCC board president , stated: “The so-called ‘Affordable Care Act’ is not even fully implemented, and is already costing jobs, leading to costly increases in insurance premiums, and promising billions of dollars in new taxes. Texans should not have to shoulder the costs of Obamacare, which is why we implore our Texas delegation to defund this unpopular, unworkable, and unaffordable law.”
According to TCC, Medicare actuaries recently estimated “that in its first 10 years, Obamacare will boost health spending by ‘roughly $621 billion’ above the amounts Americans would have spent without this misguided law” and that “as estimated by Forbes, that amounts to an increase of $7,450 for a family of four between 2014 and 2022.”
“The Texas economy will be stronger, and Texas families will be healthier and better-off, if Congress defunds Obamacare,” Rep. Morrison stated.
Republican Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz ended his filibuster Wednesday after 21 hours and 19 minutes, but he was no closer to killing President Obama’s signature health care law.
The Senate then promptly advanced legislation required to avert a partial government shutdown at midnight Monday, and is expected to strip from that crucial bill the provision to defund Obama’s law.
Weary after a day and night on his feet, Cruz simply sat down at noon Wednesday, the predetermined time for the Senate to adjourn, as several of his colleagues applauded. Senate Republicans and some House members congratulated the Texas freshman.
Cruz actually joined every other senator in a 100-0 procedural vote to allow the measure to officially go before the Senate. He says Republicans should rally against the measure in a vote scheduled Friday or Saturday on whether to cut off a filibuster on the measure itself, a vote that promises to give Democrats controlling the chamber a procedural edge if Cruz is not successful in blocking them.
Cruz wants to derail the spending bill to deny Democrats the ability to strip a “defund Obamacare” provision out, a strategy that has put him at odds with other Republicans who fear that the move would spark a shutdown.
After the vote, Cruz told reporters he hopes “that Republicans will listen to the people, and that all 46 Republicans come together. Coming into this debate we clearly were not united, there were significant divisions in the conference. I hope those divisions dissolve, that we come together in party unity.”
The Senate’s top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, shrugged off Cruz’ effort.
“For lack of a better way of describing this, it has been a big waste of time,” said Reid, D-Nev.