6 GOP Senators Who Won’t Shut Down The Government Over Obamacare
On Monday, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) announced he would lead an effort to defund Obamacare, in another desperate (and almost certainly unsuccessful) attempt to unravel the law. Lee’s plan involves blocking any continuing resolution or appropriations bill that would provide funding for the Affordable Care Act.
As of Tuesday, Lee only has 11 other GOP signers backing his effort.
Despite most Republicans’ desire to repeal Obamacare, most are not signing Lee’s letter. Actually, many GOP senators are doing more than simply not signing; they are completely rejecting constant urging from top conservatives like Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY).
Some are even speaking out against the effort publicly.
Read on to find out which GOP senators stand against Senator Lee in this latest GOP civil war.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is no fan of Obamacare. In fact, in a phone interview with The Washington Examiner, Coburn admitted he would “love to defund” the Affordable Care Act, and would “be leading the charge if I thought this would work.”
But, he concludes, “It will not work,” arguing that Republicans do not have the votes to cut off Obamacare, and that leading an effort to do so is “dishonest.”
Coburn warns others in the GOP that they are not “going to stop the funding,” but rather “shut down the government.” He also says that supporting Mike Lee means supporting him “in destroying the Republican Party.”
The senator even exposes the lack of experience of his GOP counterparts on the opposite side of the debate when he notes that he is the only one “among the group of senators that [have] been considering this” who was serving in Congress during the government shutdowns of 1995 and 1996.
Coburn’s comments caused fellow Republican Ted Cruz’s chief of staff Chip Roy to send out several tweets attacking the remarks.
Photo:Talk Radio News Service via Flickr.com
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) called the effort the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.”
Echoing Coburn’s warning, Burr stated, “I think some of these guys need to understand that if you shut down the federal government, you’d better have a specific reason to do it that’s achievable.”
In what seemed to be an indirect response to Burr’s remarks, Senator Rubio told Politico, “For those who are saying it’s not achievable, I would say to them, ‘If it’s not achievable it’s because they are basically conceding defeat before they even try.'”
Photo: ncsunewsdept via Flickr.com
On efforts to defund Obamacare, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) told MSNBC simply, “No, I don’t support that.”
Photo:Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has expressed his desire to repeal Obamacare, but says that defunding it is not possible, and will not pave the way for positive results.
During a radio interview, McCain said, “Some would like to set up another one of these shut-down-the-government threats. And most Americans are really tired of those kinds of shenanigans here in Washington.”
On Twitter, McCain wrote, “I agree with my friend Dr. Coburn,” implying that McCain, too, feels that defunding the healthcare reform is more than just “shenanigans,” but also dishonest on behalf of the Republicans carrying out the plan.
He also noted that “So far … there’s not a lot of Republicans that believe this is the right path.”
Photo:Soggydan via Flickr.com
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) labeled the effort “silly.”
He added: “I don’t look at that as very courageous.”
Corker, too, went on to criticize the 11 Republicans behind Lee’s effort as not having “the courage to roll up our sleeves and deal with real deficit reduction and spending decisions,” and claimed they “want to take ourselves [Republicans] out of the debate and act like we’re being principled to the American people.”
Photo: World Economic Forum via Flickr.com
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) had initially signed on to Senator Lee’s pledge, but has since withdrawn his support, after having “second thoughts.”
He is one of three GOP senators who have removed their names from Lee’s letter, the two others being Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).
Cornyn also warned that an attempt to defund Obamacare will only lead to a government shutdown, which he said is “a good way for Republicans to lose the House.”
Photo:Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com