Sen. Cleary responds to Republican group’s criticism about Obamacare legislation

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014

A small group of Republicans has issued a news release to take state Sen. Ray Cleary, R-Murrells Inlet, and state Rep. Nelson Hardwick, R-Surfside Beach, to task for recent comments the two made during a recent South Strand Republicans legislative breakfast.

The Republican Liberty Caucus Greater Myrtle Beach Area Chapter voted unanimously at their March 25 meeting to censure the two lawmakers for “their failure to represent the people who are their constituants.”[sic]

Specifically, the news release said that Cleary should have supported H 3101, a bill that “was intended to establish grounds for a court fight between the federal Department of Justice and the State of South Carolina to once again test the constitutionality of Obamacare (ACA),”

Hardwick was called out for his response to a question about the implementation of Common Core as an educational standard to be implemented throughout South Carolina.

“Instead of studying and evaluating these highly controversial educational guidelines, Rep. Hardwick deferred to decisions made by school committees to utilize the standards,” the release said.

Neither lawmaker had seen the news release.

“I was raised on a farm, and if you had a problem with a neighbor, you went to the neighbor and talked it out,” Hardwick said.

He added that it was not the job of the legislature to micromanage the actions of local school boards.

Cleary also questioned the actions of the group, and the accuracy of their information.

“Regardless of individual opinions, the Affordable Care Act has been ruled constitutional and is the law of the land. It is our sworn duty to abide by and uphold the Constitution, even in cases when you might not agree with the law.

The federal law is abhorrent and overreaching, and our state is doing everything we can legally do to oppose Obamacare.”

Cleary said that many people were misinformed about the effects of the house bill. “It would not have nullified Obamacare. A state cannot overrule federal law.”

Cleary said that any state effort to fight the federal law would most likely have ended in a defeat and a costly expenditure of taxpayer dollars.

John Clarke, chairman of the local Liberty Caucus, said he “had read parts of H 3101,” but had not studied it nor read it in its entirety.

Nor is he or his organization, which started in October with 18 members and has since grown to 30 members, interested in fielding a candidate to run against Hardwick, who is seeking a new term. Cleary’s term expires in 2016.

“We’re not in business of finding candidates for office,” Clarke said. “We’re about expressing our opinion and giving voice to a frustrated public.” Clarke said.

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