Rep. Marlin Stutzman on defunding Obamacare, ‘Exempt America’ rally

Marlin Stutzman Indiana CongressmanCount Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) among the cadre of lawmakers who are sensing public momentum to defund Obamacare in the imminent showdown over government funding.

Red Alert Politics caught up with the Indiana lawmaker after departing yesterday’s “Exempt America” rally in support of the effort on the U.S. Capitol’s West Lawn — a lively event that Stutzman said reflects a strong movement.

“People know that now is the time for the pressure,” Stutzman said.  “Now is the time to bring the heat.  So they’re here.”

Reports emerged on Tuesday that House Republican leadership was considering a two-pronged approach to force the Senate to act on the matter while ultimately moving toward enacting a “clean” spending plan absent the Obamacare provision to fund the government beyond September 30.  According to sources cited in a Washington Examiner story, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said in a closed-door meeting that such an approach would not signal Republicans’ acquiescence to the controversial health care law.

“I reject the false choice that if you are against shutting down the government you are for Obamacare,” Cantor was quoted as saying in the report.

Stutzman said that he wants leadership to hold a firmer line, instead.

“There’s a real frustration building in the last 24 hours, and we want to see the Republican leadership stay strong, keep a backbone, and fight this thing to the end,” he said.  “That’s what the American people want.  That’s what all of us heard over the [August recess], was to fight this thing to the end.”

It was reported early afternoon Wednesday that House leaders had delayed a vote on a spending measure until next week amid continued disagreement over how to proceed.  Previously, a vote was expected as early as tomorrow.

Stutzman said that the fight is worth it, no matter the end result.

“What if we lose?  We don’t know.  But if we don’t fight, we’ll never know.”