Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 12 other Republican Senators are ramping up the pressure on Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY) to use the threat of a government shutdown this fall to defund Obamacare.
But not everyone in the party thinks it’s a good idea. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) said this particular game of chicken is “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.” McConnell told reporters last month that he’s still undecided.
Meanwhile, while away on recess, the 13 GOP senators are spending time at home organizing a grassroots “army” to influence Republican leadership into blocking any stopgap spending measure funding the government beyond Sept 30.
The movement comes despite a recent report from the Congressional Research Service concluding that shutting down the government would do nothing to stop Obamacare, and the new healthcare law would be funded and implemented as scheduled, regardless.
Cruz called the report a “red herring” and said critics are misrepresenting his plan. - Read more at The Hill
ROMNEY—REMEMBER HIM?—SAYS SHUTDOWN IS A BAD IDEA While speaking at a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney warned that forcing a government shutdown to stop Obamacare was a dangerous idea. “I badly want Obamacare to go away, and stripping it of funds has appeal. But we need to exercise great care about any talk of shutting down government,” Romney said. “I'm afraid that in the final analysis, Obamacare would get its funding, our party would suffer in the next elections, and the people of the nation would not be happy. I think there are better ways to remove Obamacare.” - Read more at the USA Today
GOVERNMENT SUES BofA FOR FRAUD The Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission filed two separate lawsuits against the nation’s second largest bank on Tuesday for allegedly committing fraud by understating the risk in $850 million of mortgage-backed securities that it sold in 2008. In response to the suit, a BofA spokesman said the securities in the case soured because the housing market collapsed, which wasn't the bank’s fault. - Read more at The Wall Street Journal
THE HILL: HERE’S THE TOP 100 PEOPLE TO WATCH THIS FALL
PENTAGON REDUCES FURLOUGH TO 6 DAYS Civilian employees at the Department of Defense will only be required to take six furlough days instead of 11, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Tuesday.
Hagel said Congress granted the Pentagon more flexibility to make cuts in other areas. DOD workers began taking furlough days since May, so most employees will complete their final day of unpaid leave by Aug 17. However, in his statement Tuesday, Hagel warned that employees would likely face more furloughs if the second wave of sequester cuts take effect this fall. - Read more at Gov Exec
OBAMA SAYS YES TO G20, NO TO PUTIN President Obama cancelled an upcoming sit down next month with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, but he still plans to attend the G20 summit being hosted in that country. Tensions between the United States and Russia have surged after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden received asylum there last week.
“I will be going to that because the G20 summit is the main forum where we talk about the economy, the world economy, with all of the top economic powers in the world,” Obama said Tuesday on NBC’s “The Tonight Show.” “It's not something unique to Russia. They're hosting it this year. It's important for us as the leading economy of the world to make sure that we are there.” - Read more at Reuters