Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) says he commends the House GOP Conference on its effort to defund ObamaCare.
"Speaker Boehner and the Republicans have a very hard job to do and I have praised the entire House Republican Conference for what they're doing on the [continuing resolution],” DeLay said in an interview with Newsmax. “I'm very supportive."
On Friday, the House passed a bill that would strip funds from Affordable Care Act, whose new reforms are set to take effect Oct. 1 — the same day the government could shut down if Congress can’t reach a consensus on a funding bill. The Senate will likely send a different bill back to the House that includes funding for the healthcare law.
Asked about a Washington Post report that said he could push it through Congress, DeLay said “I never said 'I could do it' or claimed I could have gotten it through Congress. In fact, I have deliberately stayed out of the recent debate. I'm not involved."
Before the former lawmaker's money laundering charges surfaced, he was considered one of Washington’s most powerful politicians in the early 2000s for his success in growing and controlling the GOP base in the House. He adopted the nickname of “The Hammer.”
He said he's not worried about repercussions if Republicans stay committed to the defunding fight, comparing the current debate to the last time the government shut down, in 1995 and 1996.
Even though then-President Clinton prevailed, he said, congressional Republicans still got what they wanted.
“We eliminated more than 100 programs, agencies and offices," he said. "And we got Clinton to cut spending and eventually sign welfare reform after vetoing it twice."
DeLay is now trying to resurrect his career, after a Texas appellate court overturned his 2010 conviction for money laundering last week.
He said the recent news is "getting me geared up to come out and do things again.”
For example, in the same interview with Newsmax, he said he’s going to write a book with conservative political commentator Jerome Corsi and launch a lecture tour.
The book, tentatively called “Shut Her Down,” is about the “revival of the Constitution” and returning power from the federal government to states.