A House bill that would keep the government afloat through Dec. 15 but would also deny funding for President Obama’s health care law doesn’t stand a chance in the upper chamber, senators from both parties agreed Sunday on “Face the Nation.”
“We don’t have the ability,” Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said, “nor politically do we have the ability, to put a total stop and defund ‘Obamacare.’ It’d be nice if we did; I’d be in the fight.
“There was a tremendous demand from special interests to try to prevent this bill from totally being implemented, because of the dangers to our country, the ultimate cost,” he said. “I agree with them that if we could do this, we should do it. But we can’t. And the political reality, you know, tactics and strategies ought to be based on what the real world is.”
A government shutdown that would hit Oct. 1 if Congress fails to muster a budget deal shouldn’t an option, Coburn said.
“It takes away from the real focus,” he argued. “The real focus is the $250 to $300 billion that’s totally wasted every year by Congress in the federal government.”
There’s “no way we should be talking about shutting the government down,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said. On the other hand, he added, roping in the promise of an ugly fight over the government’s borrowing limit, “raising the debt limit doesn’t fix the debt. …We’re talking about our financial future, we’re talking about getting our financial house in order. We need real adults at the table, working that out.