WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said that the Republican-controlled House’s move to defund Obamacare has good intentions, but the action doesn’t have the ability to actually block the implementation of federal health care.
Speaking with CBS’ Bob Schieffer Sunday on “Face The Nation,” the Oklahoma Republican said that the tactics and strategies of the House should be based on reality – which he says is not the case given that the Republicans “don’t have the political power” to stop President Barack Obama’s signature health care law from going into effect.
“I think it’s a great attempt to raise the issue of some of the weaknesses and problems with Obamacare,” said Coburn. But added, “It’s not a tactic that we can actually carry out and be successful.”
Several GOP members have complained that the tactic could lead to a government shutdown on Oct. 1, the start of the new budget year. Which they fear could also weaken the GOP politically in the next election.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has raised support with more than 1 million signatures on a “Defund It” petition.
Sen. Coburn said that the bill will be changed to continue the funding of “Obamcare” and sent back to the house. Coburn stated that he would “be in the fight” if the GOP had the ability to strike down the Affordable Care Act, but since the party only controls one house of Congress the GOP simply “doesn’t have the ability.”
He added that there have been 14 changes to Obamacare and that there should be more. He said he’d like to re-focus discussion on wasteful spending in other portions of the government.
“We haven’t even touched the surface of the waste and fraud that’s out there,” said Coburn.