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Steve King Demands 'Blood Oath' From Boehner to Shut Down the Government

This story first appeared on Think Progress. Earlier this year, radical right-wing congressman Steve King (R-IA) introduced a discharge petition in the House to repeal health reform. Thus far, his measure has attracted 173 signatures. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS) became the first Democrat last week to sign the petition. King told conservative blogger Ed Morrissey he’s “likely to get more Democrats.” But King seems more worried that the leadership of his Republican caucus — some of whom have said they won’t campaign for a full health care repeal — won’t carry through with a pledge to repeal ObamaCare. Roll Call reports that King is now demanding a “blood oath” from House Minority Leader John Boehner to include a repeal of health care reform in every appropriations bill next year, even if a government shutdown results:
“We must not blink,” he said, noting that money cannot be spent without the House voting to pass it. “If the House says no, it’s no.” Their new tea party backers won’t tolerate anything less than a full repeal of the health care law, he said. “They will leave us if we go wobbly,” he said. “I am worried about that, but that’s why I think it’s got to be a blood oath.”
King said, in the event a government shutdown occurs, he wants to ensure “there wouldn’t be a repeat of 1995 where the House caved.” Earlier this month, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) said shutting down the government would be the right thing to do, even if means halting veterans benefits. The Washington Post reports that Republicans “haven’t said much about what would replace” health reform if it were repealed, noting that “a GOP bill rejected by the Democratic-led House last year is the closest thing to a starting point. That plan would cover an additional 3 million people by 2019, compared with nearly 33 million under the Obama health-care law.”
Update It seems “blood oaths” are all the rage these days among Republicans. Last week, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) said he wanted a “covenant” from the GOP, signed “in blood if necessary,” to extend Bush tax cuts for the rich.
Update The Wall Street Journal reports, “A vote in the House to repeal the health-care overhaul would be among the GOP's top priorities. … House Republicans say a full repeal would pick up a few Democratic votes, but acknowledge the effort would fail in the Senate.”
Update Steve Benen warns, "It's not theater; it's not posturing; it's not an idle pre-election threat. Voters should appreciate how serious this is before heading to the polls."