Local News

September 24, 2013

Protest against Graves planned for Wednesday

The U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to extend government funding through the middle of December while defunding and delaying for one year the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

That bill was authored by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, who represents Whitfield and Murray counties. But while Graves’ proposal was embraced by a majority of his fellow House members, some back in his district don’t like that approach.

“The law has been passed. It has been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court, and we want Tom Graves to take a different approach,” said Dalton resident Austin Wade, a volunteer with Organizing for Action.

Organizing for Action, which grew out of President Barack Obama’s election and re-election campaigns, plans a protest against Graves on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Whitfield County Courthouse.

“This isn’t necessarily a Republican or Democratic issue. We don’t think that conservatives want government to be run by taking hostages, and that’s what’s happening here,” Wade said.

Funding for most government operations expires Monday, and Wade said he fears that tying an effort to defund the health care law to continued funding of the rest of the government could lead to a shutdown.

“That would be disastrous for the middle class and everyone else,” he said.

The House bill has gone to the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said any measure that would defund Obamacare is “dead.”

In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Graves said that the president “himself has amended, delayed or repealed 19 components of his very own law.” Those include the employer mandate, which requires firms that employ more than 50 full-time workers to offer them health insurance, and the cap on out-of-pocket medical expenses.

“We are united around a very simple goal, and that is keeping the government open while protecting our constituents from the harmful effects of Obamacare,” Graves said.

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