Sen. Mike Lee Rebukes Rove on Obamacare: 'The Best Way to Delay is to Defund'

Craig Bannister | August 13, 2013 | 12:49pm EDT
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On "The Sean Hannity Show" on Monday Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) pushed for defunding Obamacare in the next continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government, saying "the best way to delay is to defund."

Debating Karl Rove on whether to fund Obamacare in the next CR, Lee said:

"Look the best way to delay is to defund. And I agree with you Karl we got to find a way to delay it; I agree with you that we're not in a position to repeal it right now. But we want to delay it; the best way to do that is to defund it. We've got to fight on every single front that we have, and we've got bargaining power when it comes to spending. That's what we've got to do is fight there."

Rove disagreed, saying, "Senator if we don't have the votes to repeal it, we don't have the votes to defund it and [the Democrats] know it."

Rove suggested that Republicans fight to delay the implementation of Obamacare for a year and going to court to challenge the President's delaying of the employer mandate until 2015. He also suggested giving Congress more oversight on the implementation of the law, and having the Republicans lay out their alternate plan for healthcare.

Before the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, Congress must pass a new continuing resolution in order to keep the federal government funded throughout fiscal year 2014.

Sen. Lee faces challenges not only with the Democrats, who control the Senate, but also those within his own party who are speaking out against Lee's plan.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said shutting down the government over Obamacare funding was "the dumbest idea I've ever heard," and Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) said in a statement, "While I support efforts to defund Obamacare, the political reality is that goal is not currently achievable. Senator Harry Reid would never let it pass the Senate, and President Obama would never sign it into law. A better option is to push for common-sense Medicare reform, or approval of the Keystone pipeline, in exchange for raising the debt ceiling."

The Republican leaders in the House and Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), have been reluctant to push defunding Obamacare in the new CR.

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