Sen. Lee: Fight Against 'Forced' Obamacare 'Winnable'

Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 03:29 PM

By Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter

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Sen. Mike Lee, a leader in the fight to defund Obamacare, tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama and the Democrats are trying to force the program on an "unwilling" nation.

The Utah Republican also says the battle to at least delay implementation of Obamacare is "winnable."

Lee, a constitutional lawyer, beat incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett to win the 2010 Republican primary, with support from the tea party. He then won the general election with 62 percent of the vote, at that time becoming the youngest member of the Senate at age 39.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

Obama insists he will not negotiate on budget items until the GOP-run House ends the shutdown without defunding Obamacare.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV on Wednesday, Lee explains why he thinks the White House and Democrats refuse to make a deal.

"This is the party of Obamacare," he says. "The president and the Senate Democrats are willing to do anything and everything in order to stand up for Obamacare and force Obamacare on an unwilling American electorate.”

But he said the public is "really concerned" about this law. "They don't want it. They see it killing jobs. They see it resulting in not only layoffs, but people losing their health coverage, people having their hours cut and their wages slashed, and they're afraid about what it's going to do to the country."

"They're saying if the president's admitting that this law's not ready to be implemented, if the president's already telling us that he's not going to follow the law, then we shouldn't fund it. And now House Republicans under the leadership of John Boehner and Eric Cantor are saying, 'Let's keep government funded. Let's start with funding those areas of government that are totally unrelated to Obamacare and that have broad-based, bipartisan consensus.'"

But, he says, the president and Senate Democrats "are telling us that unless we're willing to fund everything, including Obamacare, they won't let us fund anything. That's crazy. It's not sustainable, and the American people aren't going to put up with it."

Lee acknowledges that the Affordable Care Act will not be repealed as long as Obama is in the White House, because of his veto power.

But repealing Obamacare is "different from what we're trying to do here," he says. "Ours is a compromise position. Short of repeal, we're saying that we ought to withdraw funding for Obamacare."

"We started out by saying let's withdraw it indefinitely, and the Democrats rejected that, so we said, okay, let's withdraw it for a year. The president has said the law's not ready to be implemented, so let's withdraw funding for a year. That is a legitimate position upon which we could win, I believe. It's not easy, but it is winnable."

There are reportedly about 20 Republicans in the House who are prepared to pass the clean continuing resolution that Obama wants. Lee and Sen. Ted Cruz have both been roundly criticized by their GOP Senate counterparts for their uncompromising stance.

But Lee insists: "We've gotten a lot of support in the House of Representatives. The House Republican leadership from Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor has been amazing. They've held firm on this position, and I applaud them for doing so."

"I understand that there are those within my own party who don't agree with this strategy. I respectfully but strongly disagree with the position that they're taking, which is that this is somehow not worth fighting.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

"This is a fight worth fighting. And the fact is that Republicans might achieve some political gain in 2014 if, in fact, Obamacare takes full effect, because of its unpopularity," Lee said.

"This law is going to hurt a lot of people, and when I see a train wreck about to happen, I have to try to do something to stop it from occurring, regardless of whether it's hard and regardless of whether some people disagree with my efforts to do so."

Related Articles:

Mike Lee: Democrats' Stance on Shutdown 'Not Defensible'
Dick Morris: Oklahoma Suit May End Obamacare

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