Letters From the West

Labrador says conservatives weren’t pushing to defund Obamacare, only delay it.

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, right, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., (Idaho Statesman File Photo)

U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, right, with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., (Idaho Statesman File Photo)

Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador said today conservative House members never asked for a full repeal of Obamacare.

He said they only wanted a one-year delay.

In July, when the House passed its version of the continuing resolution with Obamacare defunded, it was only a negotiating position, he suggested in September.

“We have never asked for a full repeal of Obamacare because we knew we would not get it,” Labrador said during “Conversations with Conservatives.”

Labrador signed a letter to the House leadership Aug. 21 that included this line:

“We urge you to affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of ObamaCare in any relevant appropriations bill brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill.”

In an appearance on Meet the Press September 29, he said:

“Our first request was to completely de-fund the program. And we knew we were going to lose on that. Now we’re asking for a delay, which, again, I don’t think is an unreasonable thing to do.”

Today, Labrador, speaking with other House conservatives said he was “really proud” of Speaker Boehner. “I’m more upset with my Republican conference,” he said according to several reporters tweeting from the “Conversations with Conservatives.”

The event that was supposed to have been broadcast on the Internet but was not because of “technical difficulties,” said Labrador’s press secretary Todd Winer.

Labrador upset because some House Republicans are expected to vote for a Senate compromise proposal that falls far short of what he and House conservatives sought when they convinced Boehner to add defunding Obamacare to the continuing resolution that led to the government shutdown.

Here’s the terms of the deal according to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post:

The government would be reopened through January 15; the debt ceiling lifted through Feb 7; Treasury would be allowed to continue to use tricks to delaying hitting the ceiling; The House/Senate budget conference must reach a deal by Dec. 13; federal workers get back pay; Obamacare beneficiaries would have to provide income verification.

The vote comes as the government enters its 16th day of shutdown and sits on the edge of default unless the debt ceiling is raised.

Here is the complete video:


Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West