The National Republican Congressional Committee today begin airing radio ads attacking House Democrats in swing districts, including U.S. Reps. Rick Nolan and Tim Walz, for refusing to defund the Affordable Care Act
Republicans aim to frame the federal government shutdown around President Obama's health care reform law, also known as Obamacare.
And Walz, Nolan and eight other Democrats are among the targets. The NRCC did not indicate the size of the ad buy or how often they’ll run.
“How out-of-touch is Tim Walz with Minnesota families? So out-of-touch that she voted to shut down the government in order to protect Congress’ taxpayer funded healthcare!” the start of the script for the Walz ad reads.
An identical script will run on ads criticizing Nolan.
Despite the shutdown, the online insurance marketplaces for the Affordable Care Act debuted Tuesday, albeit with glitches.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also went on the offensive this week, running automated telephone calls targeting 63 House Republicans over the budget crisis, including Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen.
The script from the Kline’s call reads:
“While you were sleeping Congressman John Kline shut down the government. You heard that right. But even worse – Congressman Kline is still getting paid – and he’s not listening to our frustration. All because of his demand to take away your benefits and protect insurance company profits.”
The script reads the same for Paulsen, but technically he and Kline are not getting paid during the shutdown. They've requested that their pay be withheld until it ends.
U.S. Reps. John Kline and Michele Bachmann are greeting veterans at the World War II Memorial this afternoon, a day after the monument was barricaded because of the federal government shutdown.
Several members of Congress escorted dozens of veterans from Iowa and Mississippi past the barriers Tuesday so they could see the monument.
After public outcry, the National Park Service decided today that all veterans traveling to the memorial as part of the Honor Flight Network, which brings World War II veterans from the across the country to see the monument for free, will be allowed access.
Efforts to defund President Obama's health care law by the Tea Party wing of Congress, including Bachmann, has contributed to the federal shutdown that shuttered the national monuments.
Bachmann also showed up at the World War II Memorial on Tuesday after the veterans breached the barricades.
U.S. Rep. John Kline posted the picture below to his Twitter account today:
U.S. Rep. John Kline is among the House leaders who sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, questioning why the federal Justice Department wants to block Louisiana from implementing a school choice program for low-income students in school districts with desegregation orders.
Along with House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and others, Kline asks Holder to explain how efforts "to revoke scholarships and eliminate education choices will help students -- particularly low-income and minority children -- access better education opportunities and a pathway to a brighter future."
The Justice Department maintains that school choice programs like the one in Louisiana will disrupt the racial balance in school districts.
In court filings, the agency argues that Louisiana has deliberately ignored desegregation plans and that granting vouchers pulls children away from public schools, causing "an increase in racially disproportionate representation in 24 historically segregated schools."
Kline, chairman of the House Education Committee, and his colleagues think the case has national implications.
"If the DOJ is successful in shutting down this invaluable school choice initiative, not only will students across Louisiana be forced to remain in failing schools, but it could have a reverberating effect and cause other states to feel pressured to shut down similiar initiatives that could provide countless children the opportunity to receive a better education," the lawmakers wrote.
Here's a copy of the letter from Republican leaders:
With Republicans in Washington torn over forcing a government shutdown to end Obamacare, Democrats are applying pressure on swing district lawmakers who might be persuaded to hold back from the fiscal precipice.
In Minnesota the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) launched an automated telephone campaign Tuesday aimed at Minnesota Republicans John Kline and Erik Paulsen.
The calls, going to grassroots supporters to get around the state’s “robo” call restrictions, ask Minnesotans to “stop the nonsense and focus on common sense solutions that protect our health care and grow our economy.”
It remains to be seen how far House Speaker John Boehner will go in the upcoming annual budget and debt ceiling debates to “defund” or delay implementation of the president’s signature health care law. But the Democratic robo call script warns of the dire consequences of a potential government shutdown, with its attendant consequences:
“Seniors’ Social Security checks would be up in the air and our military families couldn’t count on getting paid.”
For planning purposes, the current fiscal year ends Sept. 30, and the government is expected to max out on its debt limit in mid-October.
Update: Alleigh Marre of the National Republican Congressional Committee (RNCC) writes in with this response: "Instead of rooting for a shutdown President Obama and his political cronies should listen to the will of the American people and actually work with Republicans on solutions that will prevent ObamaCare from tanking our economy and eroding middle class families' health care."
Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline will not back President Obama's request for military strikes in Syria.
Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement today that Obama has not made a strong case for intervention in Syria. Last week, Kline said he tentatively favored an attack that would weaken Syrian's chemical weapons capabilities.
"For more than two weeks, the President has failed to convey to the American people a clear objective for military intervention in Syria," Kline said. "He continues to offer no persuasive rationale, which is why I cannot support the President's request at this time for U.S. military strikes in Syria."
Among Minnesota's House delegation, only Democratic U.S. Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum have indicated support for military action in response to Syria's alleged chemical weapons attacks against civilians.