The Washington Post

John Boehner is right. Sort of. But not really.

Here's John Boehner defending House passage of a bill over the weekend that linked delaying Obamacare to keeping the federal government open:

“The House has again passed a plan that reflects the American people’s desire to keep the government running and stop the president’s health care law.  Repealing the medical device tax will save jobs and delaying the president’s health care law for all Americans is only fair given the exemptions the White House has granted to big businesses and insurance companies.  We’ve also voted to ensure that our troops will receive their paychecks no matter what.  Now that the House has again acted, it’s up to the Senate to pass this bill without delay to stop a government shutdown."

Boehner is right. Ish.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to a House Republican Conference meeting to discuss the ongoing budget fight, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Americans don't want the government to shut down. And, polling has shown for years now that more people disapprove of Obamacare than approve.

But, simply because each of those statements are true on their own does not mean they are true together. And, in fact, polling shows they aren't.

Take a CNN poll released Monday. Six in ten said that “approving a budget agreement that would avoid a government shutdown” is more important for Congress to do than "preventing major provisions in the new health care law from taking effect by cutting the finds needed to implement them”, which 34 percent said was the most important priority. Or a CBS News/New York Times poll released last week that showed 60 percent of respondents saying the federal budget/debt ceiling should be kept as separate issues from cutting off funding for Obamacare. (Thirty one percent said it should cut off funding for the law.)

As we have written before, the only way we currently see that Obamacare can be turned from a political positive to a political negative for Republicans is by linking it to the funding of the government beyond midnight tonight. People don't like Obamacare, but they like the idea of tying it to keeping the government open even less.

That, at least as of this writing, is what is happening. Congressional Republicans are adding one plus one and getting three when it comes to the logic behind linking defunding or delaying Obamacare to keeping the government running. And that doesn't add up politically.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.



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