House GOP Policy Chair: It's Up To Obama Whether He Shuts Down Government to Try to Force Republicans to Fund Obamacare

February 10, 2011 - 11:28 AM
"If he wants to close down the government based upon an unconstitutional law, then that’s his prerogative."

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, told CNSNews.com he is committed to defunding the health care law, and he said a government shutdown over the law is in the hands of President Barack Obama.

CNSNews.com asked Price, “Since the House Republicans’ budget will not include funds for the health care law and the CR [Continuing Resolution] will not include funds for the health care law, do you think Senate Democrats will shut down the government to force Republicans to fund the health care law?”

Rep. Tom Price

U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) (Photo from Price's official Web site)

“That’s a great question. That’s a question to ask them, obviously. What we want to do is make certain that the American people understand and appreciate that we’re putting every single ounce of energy we can into being certain that this law doesn’t come to pass in terms of activity on the American people,” he told CNSNews.com on Capitol Hill after delivering the closing address of the “Ronald Reagan’s Vision & Policies” forum, held in honor of the former president’s 100th birthday.

“As a physician, I can tell you that it’s destructive to the quality of health care, that it limits accessibility to health care and that it increases costs for virtually every single American out there so it’s incumbent upon us to be responsible and represent our constituents and make certain that it doesn’t get enacted.”

CNSNews.com also asked Price if he thinks there will be a government shutdown over the health care law.

“Well, I think that’s up to the president. If he wants to close down the government based on upon an unconstitutional law, then that’s his prerogative. We’re not interested in shutting down the government. What we’re interested in doing is solving the challenges that we face based upon fundamental principles in the area of health care and elsewhere,” he responded.

Price also said he is personally committed to continuously defunding the health care law, assuming that the Senate will send appropriations bills with funding for the law back to the House.

“I’m committed to doing everything we can to make certain that the destructive aspects of the bill, which are virtually the entire thing, never come to pass on the American people,” he said.

“Whether that means defunding, whether that means repealing portions of it or the entire thing, whether that means assisting and working with friends of the court with amicus briefs to make certain that our voice is heard in the court challenges and putting forth positive alternatives to make certain that people know that there are wonderful solutions to the challenges that we face on health care that don’t require putting the government in charge.”