CHARLESTON — The Tea Party Express rolled into Charleston on Thursday, with the chairwoman urging U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and other lawmakers to agree to a pledge opposing any federal spending bill that includes funding for the federal health care act.
“It’s time for the American people to rise up and say we don’t want this law, we want you to defund it,” Amy Kremer told a news conference attended by about a dozen people.
She noted implementation of some sections of the measure, sometimes referred to as Obamacare, are being delayed. “Why if it’s not ready for prime time are you going to fund a bill that’s not ready to be implemented?” she asked.
The Tea Party Express, which says it’s the nation’s largest Tea Party political action committee, has been holding a series of news conferences and events around the nation in recent days.
Republican U.S. Senate candidates Nancy Mace and Richard Cash, both of whom are opposing Graham in next year’s South Carolina GOP U.S. Senate primary, also attended the event.
“Obamacare is emblematic of what’s wrong in Washington today – leaders in D.C. who think they know better than the people. They are simply out of touch with everyday Americans,” said Mace, the first woman graduate of the cadet corps at The Citadel.
She added that “Graham is on the other side. He has said that the effort to defund Obamacare is a bridge too far.”
But Graham’s office said Thursday the senator is a co-sponsor of a measure in the U.S. Senate to defund the health care law and the senator said opposing Obamacare piecemeal will affect other crucial bills.
“I have supported efforts to repeal, defund, opt-out, and replace Obamacare,” he said in a statement. “However, I won’t support a flawed strategy that ultimately doesn’t defund Obamacare but delays our war fighters’ paychecks, halts our critical efforts to deepen Charleston Harbor, closes the doors on our veterans seeking medical care, and withholds Social Security checks.”
Cash, a businessman from Anderson, said federal lawmakers should not provide any money for the health care act.
Then, he said, “we can figure out a free market and set up a payer system that will be improving access and the quality of care for all Americans. We can have more charity and faith based health clinics as well.”