Democratic group pushes Rep. Miller to vote against defunding Obamacare

September 18, 2013

Democratic operatives have used the looming possibility of a so-called government shutdown to campaign against an Inland Empire congressman.

Friday, the Republican-led House is expected to vote on a bill that would continue current government spending levels and defund Obamacare. However, the Democratic majority in the Senate and the president said no spending bill that eliminates funding for their landmark health care program would pass.

If a spending bill is not passed by the end of the federal government’s fiscal year on Sept. 30, government programs may not have enough money to continue operations.

Rep. Gary Miller, R-Rancho Cucamonga, has voted to defund the health care law dozens of times. On Tuesday, he was targeted by robocalls paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The DCCC is backing Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, in his effort to unseat Miller in the 2014 election to represent the 31st Congressional District, which stretches from Upland to Redlands. Three other Democrats are also challenging Miller next year — San Bernardino City Unified school board member Danny Tillman, Colton attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes and former Rep. Joe Baca, then D-San Bernardino.

The DCCC’s robocalls ask constituents to call Miller and ask that he not vote to defund government programs because of his party’s opposition to the health care law.

“Republicans in Congress are threatening to shut down the government unless they can eliminate your rights and consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act,” the call said, in part. “You heard that right: Take away health care or shut down the government. That’s the choice. It’s appalling.”

The automated message also says if a spending bill is not passed, seniors receiving Social Security and military members night not get paid in the coming months. 

The call ends with an option for residents to press a button on their keypad and be directed to Miller’s district office in Rancho Cucamonga.

Miller’s offices declined to comment about his stance on the funding situation.

Meanwhile, a Democratic Super Political Action Committee focused on House races, which has named Miller a top target, blasted him on Wednesday.

“House Republicans have turned over the keys to the kingdom to the intransigent Tea Party that’s gunning for a government shutdown,” said the House Majority PAC’s communications director, Andy Stone. “ … The question remains, will Gary Miller endorse a plan that will either shut down the government or put insurance companies in control of health care decisions?”

Republicans are expected to vote on the spending bill Friday. If the bill passes, it will be sent to the Senate. The Democrat majority there will likely strike down the provision to defund Obamacare and send it back to the House as the Sept. 30 deadline advances.