This summer, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tagged along with Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) as they insisted that the GOP pursue the strategy that led to the government shutdown in October. This effort — along with the rejection of his own immigration reform bill — was part of his campaign to restore his credibility among Tea Partiers, and he won high praise for it during Cruz’s fake filibuster.
The junior senator from Texas recently said the shutdown was “absolutely” worth it after insisting that he didn’t actually want a shutdown, a suggestion that gave the crowd at The Atlantic‘s Washington Ideas Forum last week quite a laugh.
But now the problems with Healthcare.gov have conservatives believing they have the president on the ropes.
“[Obamacare] will have to be repealed and the question is how long will it take Democrats to realize that and cooperate in this endeavor,” Rubio said. “The upper echelons of the Democratic Party are still being very stubborn about it. But my prediction is, check back in eight weeks.”
What happens in eight weeks? The continuing resolution that funds the government runs out and Congress will have to pass a new one or Shutdown: The Sequel begins
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated flatly that he will not let that happen.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) echoed McConnell on Tuesday: “We will keep the government funding at the current level if need be.”
But the Republican leadership didn’t want the last shutdown. Cruz, Lee and Rubio have established the premise that funding the government including Obamacare is akin to voting for the law. So Ryan is assuming Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will bring a funding bill to the floor that could be opposed by a majority of his caucus.
If Cruz called those who didn’t agree with him the “surrender caucus” before, what is he going to say now that the GOP leadership is assuming they’ll be able to fund the government without any Tea Party support?
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