Heritage Chief Jim DeMint Defends Fight To Defund Obamacare

October 18, 2013 7:13 a.m.

Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), president of the Heritage Foundation, penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday defending his organization’s efforts to repeal the health care law. 

While the GOP failed to repeal Obamacare this time around, DeMint still declared partial victory and said that the defund effort helped Republicans gain ground on spending levels enacted into law by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

“If the Republicans had not fought on ObamaCare, the compromise would have been over the budget sequester,” DeMint wrote in the op-ed. “Instead, they have retained the sequester and for the past three months ObamaCare and its failings have been front and center in the national debate.”

DeMint added that the shutdown helped place focus on the Affordable Care Act, even if Republicans were not successful in defunding the law.

“Its disastrous launch was spotlighted by our defund struggle, not overshadowed, as some contend,” he said. “With a revived and engaged electorate, ObamaCare will now be the issue for the next few years.”

The Heritage chief acknowledged that a full repeal of the law would not be possible until after the next presidential election, but that Republicans should not wait until 2016 to begin the fight.

“Full legislative repeal may not be possible while President Obama remains in office, but delaying implementation by withholding funds from a law that is proven to be unfair, unworkable and unaffordable is a reasonable and necessary fight,” DeMint said.

The Heritage Foundation’s political arm, Heritage Action also played a role in the government shutdown by counting lawmakers’ votes on budget legislation in the organization’s scorecard.

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