MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who threatened to shut down the entire government if the Affordable Care Act wasn’t defunded, now says it’s not him who is threatening a shutdown but rather President Barack Obama.
A few weeks ago, Senator Rubio joined Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz in a call to refuse to pass any continuing resolution or budget that didn’t completely defund the ACA, also known as Obamacare.
But Rubio, in a statement full of cognitive dissonance, now says he’s not threatening to shut down the government with a filibuster, but it’s President Obama.
“Well, the one who’s threatening to shut down the government is the president and his Democratic allies,” Rubio told Fox News commentator Sean Hannity. “What they’re basically saying is unless budget funds Obamacare, they won’t support it.”
Running contrary to Rubio’s claims and the plan to defund the Affordable Care Act are several Senate Republicans and the law itself.
Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla) said the plan to shut down the government or default on the debt is not achievable. Senator Coburn told the Washington Post that most of the law is mandatory spending that isn’t covered in year-to-year budgets.
“A good portion of the health-care law is mandatory spending and repealing that would require two-thirds of the House and 67 votes in the Senate. I don’t see happening,” Senator Coburn told the Washington Post.
Republican Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) called the Rubio-Lee-Cruz plan to shut down the government if they can’t get Obamacare defunded “the dumbest idea” he had ever heard. Republican Senator John McCain also warned against more government shutdown “shenanigans.”
Complicating matters for more moderate Senate and Congressional Republicans is that much of the right-wing blogosphere and pundits are giving fuel to the fire of believing a government shutdown would defund Obamacare and help the GOP.
“Let me tell you what happens when you shut down the government: You start seeing the consequences. Who controls what is left operating? The president. As soon as the first Medicare bills go unpaid, where do you think the pressure will be? And what’s the likelihood the president will collapse on the most significant legislative accomplishment of his administration?” Coburn told the Post. “They have no idea, I was in it. I experienced it.”
Coburn is referring to the last time the government shutdown due to partisan politics in the 1990’s. During that shutdown, Republicans suffered much more politically than President Bill Clinton and other Democrats.
It’s a bit of history Coburn and other more experienced GOP members don’t want to repeat just months before the start of the mid-term campaign season.