The Corner

Tea Party Trio Calls for Defunding Obamacare on Senate Floor

Republican senators Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz took to the floor of the Senate today to lambast the president’s health-care law and urge their colleagues to defund it in the upcoming continuing resolution.

The senators spoke in a colloquy for about 45 minutes, alternately making their cases to Republicans in Congress, some of whom have expressed opposition to the plan. The trio of tea-party favorites cited statistics showing Obamacare’s effects on health-insurance premiums, employment, and the larger economy, pointed to Democrat-aligned groups asking for the law’s repeal, and derided President Obama for delaying the implementation of the employer mandate until after the 2014 election.

Senator Rubio even went so far as to compare the law to Coca-Cola’s infamous New Coke, which was such a flop after its introduction in the 1980s that the company pulled it from shelves.

“That’s the way it is in the real world, that’s the way it is in our lives,” Rubio said, “and that’s the way it is in the private sector. But not government, not Washington.”

The senators peppered their conversation with calls for their congressional colleagues to pass a continuing resolution that would fund all parts of the government except Obamacare. They described such an effort as the last chance to stop the law, but admitted that they do not, at this point in time, have sufficient support.

“If the vote were held today, we would not hold 41 senators to defund Obamacare,” Senator Cruz said, “but we’ve got 62 days until September 30.”

In closing, Senator Lee argued that any members unwilling to support their effort were de facto supporters of the law.

“Those of you in this body who are, in fact, opposed to Obamacare, I ask you: How can you [propose] to be against it and yet fund it? . . . Consider what might be said about this: Defund it or own it. If you fund it, you’re for it,” Lee said.

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