“I don’t want to go in there saying, ‘By golly, there’s a new sheriff in town,’” the Savannah resident told POLITICO. “Obamacare has been the law of the land, and it is getting implemented. We have to work in that context.”Three guesses which side Kingston would be answering to:
Describing those comments as potentially “controversial” — a nod to the heat that Speaker John Boehner took when he called Obamacare the law of the land right after the November elections — Kingston acknowledged the difficult position he’s in, caught between a Republican base that detests the health law and Democrats who control the White House and Senate.
Kingston emphasized that much of his role in guiding the financing for HHS and Obamacare will be defined by party leaders. “If I have a role of being a quarterback, then I’m not going to be the one calling all the plays,” he said. “I think a lot of what we do on the Affordable Care Act is going to be in coordination with the front office of Appropriations and presumably with leadership and with authorizing committees.”To translate, he won't stand in the way of efforts to defund programs under the law. Kingston has always been an opponent of the law, and has voted consistently for repeal. For all Kingston's talk about how he is "'100 percent' committed to getting a bipartisan bill" to fund the Department of Health and Human Services, he'll do his party leaders' bidding. That means a new battlefield for the Affordable Care Act: its funding.