Washington, D.C. - Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) today released a statement on his plan to both restart the federal government and deal a strategic blow to Obamacare:
"I hate Obamacare and I hate what the shutdown is doing to families across Virginia. Here's my plan to address both: I am calling on the House to pass a funding measure to reopen all areas of the government except for the Internal Revenue Service. Not one penny for the IRS," said Forbes. "The Internal Revenue Service is the teeth of Obamacare. Under the health care law, the IRS is undergoing massive expansions to hire new agents and enforce 47 new tax provisions. If we defund the IRS, we defund Obamacare. This plan would hold the IRS hostage, not our veterans, federal employees, warfighters, National Guard, reservists, seniors and defense civilians. I believe this plan will create real leverage for those of us who believe we need effective government as well as an end to Obamacare."
In an interview with Mike Huckabee Radio Show, Huckabee offered high praise for Forbes' plan, saying, "I think that's a more reasonable plan and would have put more pressure on the Senators. I've known you long enough to know you didn't go [to Congress] just to make noise, you went there to govern, to create a government that's more effective and more efficient – I've always said that those are the two criteria by which we judge whether or not we've been successful."
Forbes also presented the idea on Lou Dobbs Tonight, with Dobbs reacting, "Congressman, you hardly need my reaction, but I would say this of your proposal: It is nice to hear fresh and original thinking about an important issue like this and I would hope that the leadership - that is Speaker Boehner and the leaders of the GOP in the House - would listen to you very carefully… It is an idea worth trying. Anything sounds better than continuing the collision without effect."
Forbes has presented this proposal to the House Republican Conference and is actively engaging with other Members to gain momentum for this strategy.
Read Forbes' work to stop Obamacare
Read Forbes' work to end a shutdown
Other key issues of concern to constituents:
Member pay: Due to the shutdown, Forbes has written to the Chief Administrator of the House asking that his salary be withheld. He has also cosponsored legislation to withhold the salaries of Members of Congress until the funding impasse has ended, and also reduce pay in future Congresses by the number of days the government is shutdown. Forbes has also consistently voted against Member pay increases and introduced the Congressional Accountability Pay (CAP) Act, which would make Members of Congress personally accountable for overspending in Washington, by tying the salaries of Members of Congress to growth in government spending. The more the federal government spends, the less Members of Congress would earn.
Health insurance for Members of Congress: Forbes has supported legislation that would require the President, Vice President, and political appointees to join Members of Congress and all congressional staff in obtaining health insurance through the healthcare exchanges and eliminate any employer contribution to these health insurance purchases.
Office Hours. While nonessential congressional employees in Forbes' office have been furloughed as a result of the government shutdown, Forbes' offices are open and staffed with essential employees whose responsibility is to ensure constituents have a voice in the legislative process. Phones are being answered from 7am - 7pm until Congress resolves the funding impasse.