WASHINGTON -- Democrats are using Facebook to take aim at local Republican Congressmen Mike Fitzpatrick, of Bucks County, Jon Runyan, from South Jersey, and Frank LoBiondo, from the Atlantic City area, over their votes in favor of a GOP spending plan that funds the government only if Democrats agree to strip funding for Obamacare.
The Democrats’ Congressional campaign arm hopes to rally young voters using the social media site. Their paid ad campaign – declaring “This is insanity” -- is targeting Republicans in swing districts across the country, including these three from the Philadelphia area, over some Republicans’ push to defund President Obama’s health care law, even if it might mean a government shutdown.
“No one in their right mind thinks Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick's march toward shutdown is sane, and young voters are especially disgusted with padding insurance companies' profits at their expense," said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
UPDATED: Republicans called the Dems' effort "about as ironic as it gets."
"In fact, it is the Democrats who are refusing to fund the government unless their demand of a full and immediate implementation of Obamacare is met," said Ian Prior, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "This brinksmanship by Democrats ignores the overwhelming opposition to the law from the American people and the recognition even by many Democrats that Obamacare is a disaster set to wreak havoc on the economy."
Fitzpatrick has said Obamacare must be repealed – he says its requirements are hurting businesses and constituents. But he has also said he would not support a step that closed the government, as has LoBiondo.
All three Republicans joined their GOP colleagues to advance the House spending bill last week. But Fitzpatrick said his vote was cast in the hope of advancing the legislative process needed to keep the government running.
By sending a spending bill to the Senate, the House can expect an amended version to come back late this week or early next week, just in time for another vote that could avert an Oct. 1 shutdown. That vote will be a true test of lawmakers’ appetite for a shutdown in order to kill the health care law.
Some Republicans have called for blocking the spending bill until Democrats and Obama agree to gut the health law. But many Republicans have said the strategy is doomed to fail and hurt the GOP.
Fitzpatrick said his vote Friday was aimed at keeping the government running while allowing time “to write a workable plan to put our country back on the right track.”