Sen. Mike Lee of Utah says the manipulation of the government practiced by the Obama Administration is one of the chief reasons why the Affordable Care Act should be defunded.
"When government gets this big, government is going to use its power for manipulative purposes. And that's the best argument yet for defunding Obamacare," Lee told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"We should not grant so immense and so personal a power to the federal government because that, too, will ultimately be used against the people down the road."
Lee, a Republican, said that even after the Affordable Care Act was passed and sailed through the U.S. Supreme Court, President Barack Obama has manipulated it.
"He picks and chooses all the time. He's rewritten Obamacare many, many times, choosing not to enforce this provision or that, choosing to grant this waiver or that waiver, and the fact is, there are all kinds of programs that are authorized by Congress that are never funded by Congress," Lee said.
"There are lots of other programs that are authorized and then initially funded by Congress that are later defunded," he continued. "Take, for example, Yucca Mountain, our nuclear waste depository. Legally, our nuclear waste depository is in Yucca Mountain, Nev., but, for several years under the leadership of Harry Reid, Congress has been defunding that program. It hasn't been funded."
Lee said that kind of maneuvering isn't uncommon.
"In fact, this kind of thing happens all of the time. It's just that Democrats are now saying that, for some reason, when there's a law that they like, a law that creates a massive new entitlement program, and a law that is going to cause many, many people to lose their jobs or their health coverage or have their wages cut or their hours slashed, they're willing to say that that law is somehow sacrosanct, even when the president himself refuses to follow that law, even when the president himself acknowledges that law is not ready."
Lee said he's not sure how the budget crisis and question over the debt ceiling will play out in Washington.
"This one's really difficult to predict. It's encouraging, I suppose, if the president's reaching out, that he wants to talk. I hope he actually does want to negotiate and compromise at this point because so far he hasn't," Lee said.
"So far he's been the head of the party of Obamacare, which has been intent on shutting the government down and keeping it shutdown unless they can get Congress to fully fund Obamacare's implementation.
"What I've been saying is, I'm not willing to do that because Obamacare's hurting a lot of people, and it's going to hurt a lot more people if it takes full effect."
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