Calling the Affordable Care Act "un-implementable," Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that he will not vote to approve any short-term budgets unless the president's faltering Obamacare plan is defunded.
"I believe that we should not vote nor pass a continuing resolution unless that continuing resolution defunds Obamacare," the Florida Republican said at a breakfast speech sponsored by the Weekly Standard and Concerned Veterans for America.
"You want to delay implementation? Don’t fund it."
In explaining some of the partisan divide paralyzing Congress, Rubio harshly criticized the president's healthcare plan, noting the quagmire it could create this fall when key provisions — including enrollment through health-insurance exchanges — are set to roll out.
Rubio called for heightened fiscal responsibility that leads to a balanced budget.
"We should refuse to raise the debt limit by one single cent unless we pass, and the president agrees to sign, a budget that shows how we are going to begin to get to balance it within 10 years," Rubio said. "This is not an unreasonable request. They will say that it is, but it is not."
As elements of the president's signature health-reform package, such as the employer mandate, continue to be delayed, Rubio and other key Republicans are upping the pressure on Obama to fix the debt and stimulate economic growth at home, not take it further off track with a healthcare program that is not feasible.
A group of seven Republican congressmen and senators — committee chairmen and ranking members, respectively — have asked the Congressional Budget Office to update its Obamacare cost estimate now that the employer mandate is delayed until 2015.
Republicans believe Obamacare will undermine economic progress. At the same time, Rubio said, the country's $17 trillion debt and "no plan to fix it" will stifle economic growth.
“People are afraid to risk and invest their money in an economy that they think is headed for either disruptive changes in the government or massive tax increases to deal with the debt," he said.
"How many chambers of commerce around America are bragging about 'Come to America, invest here, we have a $17 trillion debt"? Because it discourages growth. It discourages job creation," Rubio said.
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