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Tea Party Patriots See A Silver Lining In The Shutdown

Photo caption:

Photo by Molly Riley

Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, shown here speaking to the press in May, says Republicans are acting within their power to withhold funding from Obamacare.


The Affordable Care Act has been at the center of the budget debate that has shut down the government.

Tea Party Republicans in the House have led the charge to try to repeal or delay Obamacare in exchange for funding the government.

They were cheered for taking on the health law by tea party activists across the country, including Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots. Martin told Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon recently that Congress ignored the will of the people when Obamacare was enacted.

"And still, the majority of Americans do not want to live under Obamacare," Martin says. The shutdown is giving those people the chance to speak to Congress to ask that the law not be funded.

Interview Highlights

Didn't Americans who opposed Obamacare have a chance to make their case against it when the legislation was being debated?

We worked to make that case, yet even though the majority of Americans did not want the law to pass, the Democrat-controled House and the Democrat-controled Senate went ahead and ignored the will of the people and passed the law anyway. And still, the majority of Americans do not want to live under Obamacare, and they are speaking up and they're talking to their Congressmen and Senators and letting them know.

Polls are interesting, but what counts is elections and the vote in Congress.

You're absolutely right that elections count, and votes in Congress count, and so the elections results from last year elected Republicans to control the House of Representatives. The Constitution gives Republicans the authority to initiate bills that fund the government and they're acting absolutely within the scope of their power, within the rule of law, and they are doing that based on election results.

Those same elections returned this president to office.

Exactly, which is why we understand that we're not going to be able to repeal the law right now, but we've seen repeatedly that this law is not ready for implementation. All we're saying is don't spend our tax money on this law that clearly isn't ready ... and that labor unions have said will destroy the 40-hour work week and shatter their employees' health care.

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