This morning on radio, Senator Mike Lee joined the program to talk to Glenn about the growing effort in the Senate to block any continuing resolutions that will fund Obamacare. According to Senator Lee, and the Senators standing with him, this could be the last chance to stop the unpopular law from fundamentally changing the country and the role of government in our daily lives forever. Senator Lee believe that the reason he and so many others were elected to office in 2010 was in direct response to the passing of the health care law. If they don’t stop it, they’ve failed, so he says it’s their responsibility to try.
If the American people understand what’s on the table, Senator Lee thinks there is a real chance of success. Will the American people take action to stop Congress from passing any continuing resolutions that will fund Obamacare? Watch the full interview above or read the transcript below to see what the Senator says you can do to get involved and help stop funding for Obamacare.
GLENN: let’s go to Senator Mike Lee who is on with us. He has ‑‑ he and Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, among others, have put together a movement that really does need to become a movement, and I’m asking the TEA Parties, I’m asking the churches, I’m asking the 9/12 project, I’m asking anyone within the sound of my voice to get involved and lead this. This has to be a movement. By September 30th, the Senate has to be convinced. 41 Republicans ‑‑ or 41 senators need to be convinced to defund the president’s healthcare. This is coming in a continuing resolution. Harry Reid is going to say the Republicans are trying to shut down the government, et cetera, et cetera. Not true. It’s not even trying to ‑‑ in my view not even trying to shut down universal healthcare but trying to make sure that the Constitution and our system is protected. The president is picking and choosing what parts of laws now to enforce. He can’t do that. This was passed as a package in a certain way. It’s falling apart, so he’s saying without congress, “Well, I’m only going to do this part and this part.” Well, that’s not what the law ‑‑ that’s not how it works. And Senator Lee is making this case, but he needs you to call your senator and get involved. And Mike Lee is here to talk to us about it just a little bit.
LEE: It’s good to be with you, Glenn. Thank you very much.
GLENN: Did I ‑‑ am I miscasting this at all?
LEE: No, no. That was perfect. I mean, look. We were elected, a whole bunch of Republicans, to the House and to the Senate in 2010 with one very simple mandate: Get rid of ObamaCare. Stop it. And since we took office, we’ve passed CR after CR that continued to fund ObamaCare. I understand why that happened, even though I didn’t vote for those. You know, a lot of people thought the Supreme Court would strike down ObamaCare. It didn’t. A lot of people thought we would elect a Republican president and he would stop ObamaCare; that didn’t happen, either. We’ve got one last shot. This is the final stop on the ObamaCare Express Train before these things kick in on January 1st. We’ve got to defund it, we’ve got to defund it now. We’ve got to have all Republicans who purport to be against ObamaCare to say that they will draw a line in the sand they will not cross and that line is they are not going to fund ObamaCare.
GLENN: I was talking to a senator the other day, and he told me that the Republicans are worse than you think, Glenn. He said they’re doing the same old thing and what one Republican suggested in, I guess your meetings or whatever, what one of these guys suggested was that they just pass a nonbinding resolution to stand against universal healthcare and said, just do that because the president is just going to continue to fight. He’ll die on his sword on this one. We’ve got to give up because he never will.
LEE: That’s right. And that would make the Republicans in congress much like the unarmed English bobby who upon seeing the commission of a crime yells “Stop or I’ll yell stop again.” We’ve become totally Feckless and we can’t law that to happen. That would be devastating to the Republican Party, to the conservative cause and to the country as a whole.
GLENN: You said, Mike, when I first talked to you, somebody had told me that you were going to run, and I didn’t know you and I said “I want to talk to him.” And I called you and you pulled your car off to the side of the road. You and your wife were driving in through a canyon and you were going to lose the phone connection. And I asked you a pretty pointed question about how was your soul, and you answered in the right way. And then we started ‑‑ I said, what do you know about the Constitution? And you started talking to me about how you were raised on the Constitution. And it sounded to me like you were brought up for this time or times like these to protect the Constitution. Forget about ObamaCare here for a second and tell me a little bit about the Constitution and why, why this has to be stopped because, do you believe at all that it is going to put the final nail in the coffin of congress or in the Senate to where the president doesn’t need approval, doesn’t even really need to go to you guys; he can just interpret laws the way he wants?
LEE: Yes. That’s a big problem. So this strikes at the heart of two very big problems in our republic. One is the problem of federalism being ignored. Federalism refers to the fact that most of the power under the Constitution is supposed to be retained by the people, to be exercised locally and at the state level. Only a few powers are supposed to go to the federal government, and the power to tell us where to go to the doctor and how to pay for it and that we have to buy a certain kind of health insurance is not among them.
The other part of that power, separation of powers that you were just referring to, the laws are supposed to be made by congress, not by the court which rewrote ObamaCare twice in order to uphold it after finding that it was unconstitutional as written, and not in the president, who has now amended ObamaCare twice, once in saying individuals have to comply with the law during the first year but employers don’t. And then it’s saying we’re not even going to require people to prove their income based on their eligibility, in order to establish their eligibility for ObamaCare subsidies. And so this really is about the Constitution, Glenn. It’s not just about a single policy. This is about the protection of an institution that has made this the greatest civilization the world has ever known. This document was put here to make men and women free. It was written by wise men who I think were raised up for that very purpose, to establish and protect freedom. This is being threatened actively by our president and we as Republicans will be complicit if we vote to fund ObamaCare yet again before it kicks in.
GLENN: Okay. Mike, the American people are tired, they don’t believe most people in congress, they don’t believe their voice makes a difference, they’ve marched, they’ve talked, they’ve done all kinds of things. Somebody’s calling Pat the right now to say, hey, I’m ‑‑ I’m part of that. Some of us would turn our phone off in a broadcast, but ‑‑
PAT: Some of us probably thought it was.
GLENN: That would only be one of us. Anyway, so the people are tired and they think ‑‑
PAT: That’s not mine. That’s not mine!
STU: That was Glenn’s the whole time?
GLENN: I don’t own a phone. I don’t own a phone. So it’s not mine.
PAT: I just threw mine out.
GLENN: No, you didn’t.
PAT: Oh, no, I didn’t.
GLENN: It’s right there.
PAT: There it is.
GLENN: Oh, it is yours!
LEE: What do you mean you don’t own a phone? You rent with an option to buy?
GLENN: I don’t carry a cellphone. Anyway, the thing that I wanted to have you address is people don’t believe that you guys ‑‑ and I’m not saying you, but many in the congress and in the Senate are not serious, that this is some sort of, you know, nonbinding resolution, that their voice won’t make a difference, et cetera, et cetera. Please address to the people what you think they need to do and why this time it will make a difference and this time it is imperative that you do it.
LEE: Okay. This time it will make a difference because the people can express in clear unequivocal terms that they understand Republicans in congress are in one of two camps: Those who are for ObamaCare and those who are against it. If they really are against it as basically all Republicans in congress claim to be, then they must indicate that they are against it by agreeing that they will not vote to fund ObamaCare. They won’t vote for any continuing resolution that contains money for further enforcement and implementation of ObamaCare.
There are a couple of ways you can get that message across: First, call your senators and call your congressmen and tell them in those very simple terms “Don’t vote for any CR that contains ObamaCare funding.”
GLENN: CR is continuing resolution?
LEE: Continuing resolution. Don’t vote for any funding mechanism that contains ObamaCare funding. Number two, you can sign a petition that we’ve got going on my website, Lee.Senate.gov. Go to Lee.Senate.gov, and click on the link that says “Don’t fund it.” You click on that link, you can sign a petition. You can sign up with a letter that I’ve written that I’m having other senators sign. You can join that same letter telling Harry Reid that we don’t want any funding mechanism to fund ObamaCare.
GLENN: And you think Harry Reid ‑‑ I mean, let me just play this out. Harry Reid is going to with the president say they are going to try to stop congress, they are going to shut down the government. These Republicans are out to destroy the government. They want to shut it all down.” That’s what they’ll do.
LEE: Sure. Maybe that’s where they will go because that’s where their political instincts and their reflexes tell them to go. They are so used to saying that, it just comes out naturally. But the reason that this petition is so important at Lee.Senate.gov and these phone calls are so important is because once he sees that that’s where the people are and that’s where their elected representatives are, he will see that it’s going to have to be him. It’s not us trying to do that. We don’t want a government shutdown. We shouldn’t have a government shutdown. We want to avoid that. And what we’re saying is if he wants a government shutdown simply because he so badly wants to push through the implementation of a law that is so bad for the American people that makes health insurance costs go way up that’s made fundamentally unfair because corporations don’t have to comply with it but individuals do, once he sees that, he will realize he’s going to have to shut down the government and I don’t think he can do that, not for a law that’s this unstable, that’s this unpopular.
GLENN: Mike, I appreciate it, and I appreciate the stance that you and a handful of senators are making. You need 41 from either side to stand with you?
LEE: Yeah, we need 41 senators to stand with us on this. And I don’t care whether they are Republicans or Democrats, but we need 41 senators who are willing to say we’re not going to vote for are any continuing resolution or other appropriations bill that contains ObamaCare funding. In other words, the message is fund the government, not ObamaCare. That’s what we want to do. That’s what our movement is about.
GLENN: How bad is the pressure on both sides?
LEE: Well, it’s intense. It’s intense. You know, already you’ve got Democrats, the White House and Democrats in the Senate accusing us of going where they themselves would take us according to their words, and you’ve got a lot of Republicans who don’t agree with the strategy so far. But I think once they think about it, once they realize what we were sent here to do, I hope and expect that a lot of Republicans will decide to join onto this effort because it’s what the American people demand and it’s what the country needs.
GLENN: Well, Mike, I’ve talked to many senators and many congressmen in the last couple of weeks and I have never seen their concern as great as it is right now and I think we are ‑‑ we’re at the end of the road. Our Constitution hangs in the balance unlike it ever has before. I would think that you would agree with me on that.
LEE: I do.
GLENN: And this is it. And by September 30th, this really could be it. This could be it.
LEE: That’s right. And we’ve got to help people understand that so that we can resist the impulse that Republicans in congress seem to have. It’s almost an epidemic, Glenn. The impulse is always “Let’s live to fight another day.” Better said, it would be let’s live another day so that we cannot fight another day and say live to fight another day. This is the fight, and if we give up on this fight, the reason this is so important is that I think Republicans will lose power if we don’t do this because the people will look at it and say, “Look, there’s no difference anyway. Why should we trust those guys to power when they promised to take power and stuff off ObamaCare and then all they do are make symbolic votes in that direction.”
PAT: Now, Mike, are you guys prepared to stand up and defend this when you are accused of trying to shut down the government? “That’s all these people want to do is they’re anti‑government and that’s all they want to do is shut down the government,” who’s going to step forward when that begins and fight for this thing?
LEE: Well, we’re already facing that right now and so this is nothing new to us. People are already saying that. And our response is this is not about a government shutdown. We don’t want that, we don’t need that, we’re trying to protect against that.
LEE: We’re saying you can protect against that if only you will fund government, not ObamaCare. That’s what we want, that’s what we demand, that’s what the American people are going to demand and I invite all within the sound of my voice to join me in this effort, contact their senators and congressmen. Tell them to fund government, not ObamaCare.