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Sen. Lee in Obamacare Colloquy: ‘Defund It Or Own It’

But Coburn, wielding a report that said Obamacare could go on without a CR, said the effort by Lee, Rubio and Cruz isn't anchored in reality.

by
Bridget Johnson

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July 30, 2013 - 6:29 pm
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WASHINGTON — A trio of GOP senators challenged their colleagues — especially Republicans — to join an effort to block funding for Obamacare in the continuing resolution that’s expected to keep the government running in the usual absence of a budget come Sept. 30.

“We don’t have to vote to fund something with which we fundamentally disagree,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who led the afternoon colloquy on the floor of the upper chamber. “…Defund it or own it — if you fund it, you’re for it.”

But Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), touting his credentials as an original opponent of the 2010 law, wielded a new Congressional Research Service report that states Obamacare can’t be defunded by stemming the appropriations process — leaving repeal, which has never made it through the Senate, the only option.

Coburn took issue with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for saying that Congress is to blame for the law.

“I would just say thank the Democrats, because not one Republican voted for it,” the Oklahoma senator said. “…The president and his allies created this mess that we’re about to deal with.”

The report released by Coburn’s office today says “substantial implementation might continue during a lapse in annual appropriations that resulted in a temporary government shutdown.”

“You cannot design a piece of legislation to defund Obamacare because the vast majority of it is mandatory spending,” Coburn told his colleagues, adding “their motivations are absolutely pure” and stressing that he’s never voted for a continuing resolution out of opposition to the stopgap measure in principle.

“The only effective way to truly stop Obamacare … would be to totally reverse it,” he added. “We don’t have the votes to do that. But we do have the votes to delay it.”

Cruz admitted in the colloquy that the votes weren’t currently there to pass a wholesale defunding of Obamacare, but said Republicans and some Democrats could come around if the American people rose up “en masse” over the next 62 days to demand a freeze to the healthcare law.

“Nothing is hurting the American economy more than Obamacare,” Cruz said. “There is bipartisan agreement on that.”

Cruz said the 190 million hours or more of Obamacare paperwork burdens expected every year  were enough for Mount Rushmore to “be constructed 1,547 times.”

The show of force by Lee, Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) just before the August recess stirred reminders of the 2010 congressional recess, where town hall meetings seethed with anger over Obamacare, signed into law that March, and a budding Tea Party movement took the House out of Democrats’ hands in midterm elections.

It was also the year Lee and Rubio won their seats.

Rubio compared Obamacare to New Coke, a 1985 reformulation of the classic cola that was so reviled the company shifted back to Coke Classic.

“What did Coca-Cola do when New Coke began to flounder? They didn’t say, ‘Well, we’re just gonna continue to make more of it.’ They backed away from it. They went back to the original formula. They learned from their mistake, and they didn’t double down. That’s the way it is in the real world,” Rubio said. “That’s the way it is in our lives, and that’s the way it is in the private sector, but not government. Not Washington!”

He said that he’ll vote for every repeal bill, but called the chance of any such legislative effort working “minimal as long as President Obama is president of the United States.”

Rubio argued that if a continuing resolution defunding Obamacare passed, and Obama refused to sign it, then a government shutdown would be on his hands, not the Senate’s.

“To my colleagues in Republican Party — this is our last best chance to do something about this,” he implored. “…You cannot go home and say you did everything you did to stop Obamacare if you vote for a budget that funds it.”

Lee noted the array of uncertainty and premium hikes already being realized in the law’s early days, adding that the Affordable Care Act is a “misnomer.”

“We don’t know exactly how much healthcare is going to cost us,” he said, noting that the bill still has yet “to be modified by tens of thousands of pages of regulations.”

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Top Rated Comments   
The Republican Party has two key objectives for this session of Congress. First, pass Amnesty and deliver Obama his 30 million New Democrats. Second, continue funding ObamaCare. The Republican Party will not tolerate any opposition to these two key goals. This is simple reality. Now, understanding that, why are you a Republican?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (25)
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until I looked at the paycheck for $5228, I be certain ...that...my cousin was like realie bringing in money in their spare time on their computer.. there best friend has been doing this 4 only 10 months and at present took care of the loans on their appartment and got a great new Saab 99 Turbo. go to, http://www.wep6.com
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Senators-Lee,Paul and Cruz thus far, are thee only ones I would keep. The rest need "Treason" charges brought up. They have all each and everyone violated their oaths to the Constitution and We The People on a daily basis. I say "Throw Them All Out!"Remove and replace with "Constitutional Representatives" yesterday.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sen. Coburn, who I have admired since he originally appeared on The Hill, is wrong.
If no Republican voted to pass PPACA, why should any Republican today vote to fund PPACA?
Oh, it's Mandatory Spending?
Hogwash!
How many times are we told (by members of the House and Senate) that Congress can do whatever it sets its mind to?
Well, Congress, don't fund this abortion!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Obama's delay of the Employer mandate was illegal. The Republican House made it legal. We might be able to rally the public along the lines of, "President Obama acted illegally and we'll shut the whole place down before we surrender our country to a tyrant." But we'll never rally the country around, "A partial defunding mechanism that funds all other areas of the continuing resolution while defunding Obamacare." Therefore, the Lee-Cruz plan is now inoperable. We should be talking about which idiots in the House thought it was a good idea to legalize an illegal act thereby depriving us of a simple, understandable basis for threatening, and enforcing if needs be, a shutdown.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To Coburn - There are lots of things that are "mandatory" these days like ... implementing parts of Obamacare that now don't have to be implemented on schedule just because the Pres says so or passing a budget through the senate, something he ought to be intimately familiar with being a senator. So, I am thinking that when it comes to government, "mandatory" does not mean what the rest of the world thinks it means.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Republican Party has two key objectives for this session of Congress. First, pass Amnesty and deliver Obama his 30 million New Democrats. Second, continue funding ObamaCare. The Republican Party will not tolerate any opposition to these two key goals. This is simple reality. Now, understanding that, why are you a Republican?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not - I'm a conservative who occasionally votes the GOP line.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another example of the courage in Congress/Senate of the guardians of the Rights of Americans.

"Words, words, words, I'm so sick of words. I get words all day long.... SHOW ME".

The ONLY words that have relevance with respect to this ACA aka Obama out of Hillary Care is REPEAL.

REPEAL in its entirety, the whole nine yards of those 2000 plus pages. Those pages that contain who knows WHAT abrogations of freedoms taken for granted by Americans in decision in their personal lives.

We do know the brave "Represenatatives of the People" now beating their breasts as the great warriors don't know what's in it.
WHO of the Congress/Senate either read or had it read to them in its entirety? Name names.

We DO have one name. That of Nancy Pelosi ,who WHIPPED the bill through Congress, with her "We'll have to pass it to know what's in it". Accepted by her constituents and members of the Congress/Senate as "good government".

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Using her own words:

We have to repeal the PPACA to find out what is in it!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Coburn: You are expendable. Our nation is not. Expect to be primaried. Expect to lose. Expect to return to your ob-gyn practice shorn of the freedom to practice according to your best medical judgment; expect to share the fate you have inflicted on your peers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
EVERY Rep who continues down this charade, actually being against this monstrous legislation, yet still voting to fund it, is guilty of grave malfeasance. Yes, it is true that without a MEGA backlash from voters, basically laying siege to the Capitol, this horror show will go on.

But if they understood the real thrust behind this invasive, non-workable AND intrusive monster, few would be able to sit still and do nothing - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/02/18/obamas-march-towards-gun-control-runs-through-obamacare-via-its-definition-of-mentally-ill-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Besides, IF you fund it, you do own it!

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Mired in reality?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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