Senator Marco Rubio has a plan to end Obamacare but the idea crafted with his Senate colleagues Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah is about to come crashing down around them.
The Rubio plan is based on having the majority of the American people following the Republicans and supporting them in forcing President Barack Obama into a corner over his healthcare reform law, commonly called Obamacare, which Congress passed in 2010. The ultimatum: sign a 2014 continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare or veto it and be responsible for a government shutdown.
Rubio and 11 other senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., last week, announcing they won’t back a temporary appropriations bill come Sept. 30 if it funds the healthcare law. A similar push is under way in the House. Congress needs to pass a continuing resolution or a regular budget to fund government agencies next fiscal year in order to avert a shut down.
“I didn’t come to Washington to shut down the federal government; I came to help bring it back to its proper role,” Rubio wrote. “This role should create an environment where America is the easiest and best place in the world to create better paying jobs by starting a business or growing an existing one. One way to do that is by ending failed programs like ObamaCare that hurt our people, waste their money and scare businesses away from opening or growing.”
Rubio’s backers in the Senate have suddenly began to distance themselves for the junior Senator from Florida.
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MI) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) all withdrew their signatures, leaving the letter with nine supporters, including Rubio, Paul, and Lee.
Meanwhile, other Republican Senator’s were more vocal in their opposition.
It’s the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard,” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC). “Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable by shutting down the federal government,” he added. “At some point, you’re going to open the federal government back up, and Barack Obama is going to be president.”
It’s a “dishonest” promise to make, said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), if it succeeds, will backfire on the GOP. “The strategy that has been laid out is a good way for Republicans to lose the House.”
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) was against the move from the start, explaining that Americans are tires of these “shenanigans.”
Coburn accused the letter’s signers of “destroying the Republican party.”
What looked like an interesting plan offered by Senator’s Rubio, Lee and Paul now seem to be headed nowhere fast. We will keep you posted on the the progress of the plan.