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Representative Renee Ellmers Blinks on Defunding Obamacare

Last week in response to Senator Ted Cruz’s speech telling an audience in Texas that the way to win the fight on Obamacare was for Republicans to hang tough and not blink, we called for the creation of a “don’t blink” caucus composed of Republicans who understand that the way to win the spending battles with President Obama – and especially the battle over defunding Obamacare – is to take the fight to impasse and then NOT BLINK.
Rep. Renee Ellmers
We also noted that the strategy of defunding Obamacare once had many adherents, like John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Cathy McMorris Rogers who, back in 2010, all said they’d stand tall if the day ever came to defund Obamacare.

Now you can add Congresswoman Renee Ellmers to the list of Republicans who were in favor of defunding Obamacare before they were against it.

However, Ellmers, one of the Tea Party surprise winners in 2010, who eked out her victory in that election with almost no establishment Republican Party support (even for the recount that brought her to Congress after she was declared the winner) upped the ante and is now attacking the conservatives and Tea Partiers who did help her.

National Review’s Jonathan Strong reports that, “Perhaps more than any other member of the tea-party class of 2010, she has embraced the strategic decisions of Speaker John Boehner and the House leadership team with gusto. Although elected with virtually no party support and zero political experience besides her participation at anti-Obamacare rallies…” Ellmers has gone on the attack against Heritage Action and other organizations who support defunding Obamacare.

Strong reports that on Friday, August 23, Ellmers “took to Twitter today to bash conservative lobbying outfit Heritage Action and its strategy of trying to defund Obamacare with the next continuing resolution.”

“Should we stop #Obamacare? YES! But @Heritage_Action’s strategy w/ Continuing Resolution is WRONG,” she said. Why, Ellmers asked, is Heritage Action spending $550,000 to attack “conservatives” and not using it to attack Democratic senator Kay Hagan, “who was the deciding vote on Obamacare?”

Then, the North Carolina Republican, in Strong’s words, “twisted the knife” by questioning the group’s integrity. “Those groups only care about raising money, they want Reps back in the minority in the House” (Renee Ellmers’ comment to Jonathan Strong re: @Heritage_Action)

The irony here is that during a “Bloggers Briefing” at none other than the Heritage Foundation, Ellmers told an audience in March 2011 she would push GOP leadership to use a continuing-resolution bill to defund Obamacare.

Heritage’s Robert Bluey asked Ellmers about specific amendments to defund Obamacare and Planned Parenthood that weren’t in a two-week stop-gap bill the House had just passed and asked, “Are those issues that you’re going to push leadership on . . .”

But, as Strong noted in his article for NRO, before Bluey could even finish his question, Ellmers interrupted to say, “Absolutely!” She went on to defend the relatively modest spending cuts that had been in the stop-gap measure. (Audio is here beginning at the 6:50 mark.)

Ellmers, having been elected on the strength of her opposition to Obamacare, is hiding behind the fig leaf votes the House has cast to repeal Obamacare but apparently opposes exercising the one weapon the Constitution bestows upon Congress to rein-in the executive branch of government: the power of the purse.

It is hard to think of a member of Congress who was elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave who made a faster conversion to becoming part of the problem than has Renee Ellmers.