John Boehner Warns Republicans Not to Celebrate if Supreme Court Strikes Down Obamacare

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Do not spike the football.

That was the gist of Ohio Representative John Boehner’s warning to the congressional Republican Caucus. Even though conservatives everywhere are likely the hail the judicial destruction of Obamacare as a major political victory, Speaker Boehner doesn’t want to see anyone with an “R” next to his or her name gloating to the press.

In a recent memo that leaked to national news outlets, Boehner and his colleagues in the Republican leadership warned their fiery colleagues not to be seen dancing in the end zone over a likely contentious Supreme Court decision striking down the whole or parts of Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act.

“If the Court strikes down all or part of the president’s health care law, there will be no spiking of the ball,” wrote Boehner.

The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on the health care law some time in the next week. Many legal observers expect the right-leaning court to strike down at the very least the contentious “individual mandate” that acts as the funding mechanism for the rest of the law.

Boehner’s stern warning is followed by a list of talking points that his caucus is expected to adhere to when discussing the impending decision.

You can see the memo reprinted in its entirety below:


To: House Republicans

From: Speaker Boehner

Re: U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on President Obama's Health Care Law

Date: 21 June 2012

Next week, as you know, the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law. In the months since oral arguments were heard by the Court, we have worked diligently with each other, as well as our colleagues in the Senate and in state capitols across the country, to analyze all of the potential rulings and their impact on the American people.

No one knows what the Court will decide, and none of us would presume to know. But if the Court strikes down all or part of the president's health care law, there will be no spiking of the ball. Republicans are focused on the economy—and under President Obama's policies, our economy is struggling. We will not celebrate at a time when millions of our fellow Americans remain out of work, the national debt has exceeded the size of our nation's economy, health costs continue to rise, and small businesses are struggling to hire. ObamaCare has contributed to all of these problems. Repealing it completely is part of the solution ... but it is only one part.

Americans opposed the president's health care law when it was enacted, and they have only grown more opposed to it since then. From listening to the people, Republicans know the critical points remain these:

* The president's health care law is making things worse—driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire workers. The only way to change this is by repealing ObamaCare in its entirety.

* Unless the Court throws out the entire law, we need to repeal what is left of ObamaCare and enact common-sense, step-by-step reforms that protect Americans' access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost.

* Republicans will not repeat the Democrats' mistakes. We won't rush to pass a massive bill the American people don't support.

* Health care coverage has become too expensive for too many people. The number-one health care concern of families and small business is the cost of health care, and Republicans' health care reforms will lower costs.

* Women make approximately 80 percent of the health care decisions made for their families. Republican health care reforms will ensure families and doctors make health care decisions—not Washington.

* We want families to be able to make their own choices in health care, visit the doctor of their choosing, and receive the health care they and their doctor feel is best. Those decisions shouldn't be made by Washington.

As I, Leader Cantor, Whip McCarthy and other leaders have made clear in recent days, the House will act in the coming weeks on legislation to repeal any part of ObamaCare that is left standing by the Supreme Court. Such action is critical for jobs and our economy and for the health care of millions of American families.

House GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Conference Vice-Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Policy Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) will be helping to lead our response efforts in the days immediately following the ruling. I commend them for their efforts. If you would like to be involved in our coordinated response efforts following the ruling but have not yet contacted the Conference, please have your staff do so today.