The PJ Tatler

Thune: 'It's a Function of Math' Why Senators Can't Repeal Obamacare

The chairman of the Senate Republican Conference said it’s all a matter of math why they can’t repeal Obamacare, but President Obama is trying to nick away at the law on his own.

“The president said the other day that their goal is not to punish folks, which I think admits – they are admitting right there that they know how punishing this is to the American people and these delays really are abuse of power,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said on Fox.

“If you look at now 28 different delays, all the other things that the president is doing to get around Congress to be able to implement his agenda and in most cases they know — in this case, anyway — that there are 2 reasons, one is economically it’s hurting people and so that’s why they are doing delays and, secondly, they know it’s hurting them politically. They have a lot of senators up for reelection in November that they’re trying to protect,” he added.

Thune said he’s asked by people “why can’t do you this or why can’t you do that” about the law.

“I tell them it’s a function of math. Either you have the votes or you don’t. Right now, we don’t have the votes but we would like to undo the whole thing,” the senator said.

Meanwhile, Obama “is kind of undoing it piecemeal along the way. He is trying to take the parts that he knows are really harmful and harmful politically to him and his party. I think those are the things that he is trying to address now, but we think that rather than just exempt businesses in this case with the employer mandate, why not apply that to families and individuals? Everybody ought to get exempted first.”

Thune said Obama is “way past that point” of overusing his executive authority to try to shape the law.

“What this president has done with this abuse of power is basically saying I’m above the law. Now, I have heard Democrats tell me all the time when Republicans say we need to repeal the law because it’s bad for the economy. It hurts jobs. People’s premiums and deductibles going up. It’s the law of the land. We need to fix it these not what they’re doing here,” he said.

“I have had 33 votes on repealing parts of this thing, but we don’t have the votes in the Senate. We need, you know, a Congress and a president that respects the law, and if they want to make changes in the law that isn’t working, and clearly this isn’t, to come back to Congress and try and fix it that way rather than going around it, which is exactly what they are doing today.”