Former House Speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Wednesday criticized his fellow Republicans in Congress for having “zero” alternatives to President Obama’s healthcare law.
Gingrich, speaking at the Republican National Committee’s summer meeting, echoed a line often used by the president himself against the GOP.
A number of conservative Republicans have called for tying funding of the government to defunding ObamaCare. Gingrich led the House GOP in the 1990s when the last shutdown took place, which was widely seen as hurting the GOP's electoral prospects.
Another prominent conservative, Karl Rove, has argued that a wider debate on GOP alternatives would implicitly undermine the healthcare law.
"We are caught up right now in a culture, and you see it every single day, where as long as we are negative, and as long as we are vicious, and as long as we can tear down our opponent, we don't have to learn anything," Gingrich said, according to Reuters.
In a press conference last week, Obama accused the GOP of being united in favor of denying 30 million people healthcare. He called the effort to sap ObamaCare the Republicans’ “holy grail, their No. 1 priority.”
“That's hard to understand as an agenda that is going to strengthen our middle class,” Obama said last week. “At least they used to say, well, we're going to replace it with something better. There’s not even a pretense now that they're going to replace it with something better.”
The proposal to shut off funding for ObamaCare being pushed in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has not gained traction within the party. So far, about a dozen senators have voiced support for Lee's plan.