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Tea party senator would rather shut down the government than implement Obamacare

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, July 22, 2013 12:38 EDT
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Sen. Mike Lee (R-IL) explains how Republicans may try to shut down the government if the Affordable Care Act is fully enacted.
 
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Appearing Monday morning on “Fox & Friends,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said he and a handful of fellow Republican senators are preparing to go all-out to stop the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, up to and including refusing to pass a bill funding the government if it includes funding for the individual mandate.

“Right now, this is the last stop before Obamacare fully kicks in on Jan. 1 of next year, for us to refuse to fund it,” he said, adding that just over a dozen other senators are with him on doing everything in their power to block the Affordable Care Act.

“Congress, of course, has to pass a law to continue funding government,” Lee continued. “Lately, we’ve been doing that through a funding mechanism called a continuing resolution. If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of Obamacare, we can stop it, we can stop the individual mandate from going into effect.”

During his talk with “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade, Lee also said he’s sure now that Republicans will not be able to repeal the Affordable Care Act with legislation of their own. Republicans in the House have voted 39 times to repeal the health reform law, but to no avail.

Republican lawmakers have repeatedly threatened to shut down the government by refusing to fund its operations since the tea party wave of elections that captured a House majority in 2010. Some tea party favorites, like Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), think that refusing to pay government employees, including soldiers, while slashing services and benefits across the board may actually be a good thing for the country.

During a 2011 political scuffle that brought the government to the edge of shutdown, Sen. Lee insisted that even though his party was refusing to vote for funding the government, President Barack Obama was responsible for the stalemate because he refused to accept all of their terms.

“The blame here cannot and, as long as I’m standing, will not be placed at the feet of the Republican Party or tea party,” he said on the Senate floor. “We do not want a shutdown. If we have one, it will be because the president of the United States and members of the other party in this august body have refused to put forward a palatable, defensible budget.”

This video is from “Fox & Friends,” aired Monday, July 22, 2013, as snipped by Think Progress.


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(H/T: Politico)

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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