Lee: Democrats Lack Will To Close Gov’t & Not Pay Soldiers Over Obamacare Defunding Fight

August 12, 2013 - 6:35 PM

Sen. Mike Lee

Sen. Mike Lee (R.-Utah)

(CNSNews.com) – Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), who is pushing to defund any further funding of Obamacare in the upcoming spending measure to keep the government running into the new fiscal year,  said Democrats lack the political will to shut the government down over Obamacare -- and risk not paying U.S. soldiers, among other issues  -- because the public does not support such divisive politics.

In speaking about the issue on Sean Hannity’s radio show on Monday, Lee said, “We’re saying the House should pass something that says we fund everything else in government but this does not include Obamacare funding, and we’re stopping all discretionary spending with this bill.  We then have another vote where they could try to insert Obamacare funding, and that’s not going to pass."

“So look, the point is the Democrats don’t have the political will, nor do the people support them in that, in shutting down government so that we can’t pay the salaries of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines,” said Lee.  “It’s the kind of divisive politics the American people have long rejected. The Democrats are not going to get away with this.”

As fiscal year 2013 comes to a close on Sept. 30, Congress must pass a spending package, a continuing resolution (CR), to keep the federal government funded into fiscal year 2014, which begins on Oct. 1.  Sen. Lee, along with at least 12 of his Republican colleagues so far – and more than 60 House GOP members – want to prohibit any future funding for the implementation of Obamacare in the CR.

Critics of the proposal contend the measure won’t pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate and, even if it did, it seems unlikely that President Barack Obama would sign a CR that stopped Obamacare funding.

Lee and his conservative colleagues in the Senate and House are pushing forward, arguing that if Obamacare is not defunded now – when majorities of Americans oppose the law and want it repealed – it will likely never be curtailed.

Establishment Republicans such as Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), as well as GOP consultant Karl Rove have indicated they are not keen on defunding Obamacare through the CR.