Rubio blames Obama for threats of shutdown

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) argued Thursday that it’s President Obama, not Republican leaders in the House and Senate, who is responsible for threats of a government shutdown over the implementation of ObamaCare.

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"This September, Congress will have to pass another short term spending bill to fund the federal government,” Rubio wrote in an op-ed for Fox News. 

“We should pass one that keeps the government open, but doesn't waste any more money on ObamaCare. The president and his allies – and even some Republicans – will accuse us of threatening to shut down the government. In fact, it is President Obama who insists on shutting down the government unless it funds his failed ObamaCare experiment.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) says he’s recruited more than a dozen Republican colleagues willing to shut down the government by blocking a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond Sept. 30 if it includes funding for ObamaCare.

The second- and third-ranking members of Republican leadership, Sens. John Cornyn (Texas) and John Thune (S.D.), have said they support Lee’s plan, as do influential conservatives and potential presidential candidates Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ted Cruz (Texas).

A number of conservative groups are pressing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to back Lee. Heritage Action endorsed the effort on Tuesday, and the Club for Growth penned a letter to McConnell on Wednesday urging him to sign on to the plan.

In addition, 64 House members have signed on to a similar effort to try and block the president’s signature healthcare reform law, with some arguing the GOP could use the debt ceiling as leverage against its implementation.

However, two Republican senators – Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) say they oppose efforts to shut down the government to block funding for ObamaCare.

Rubio on Thursday said the law should be replaced with “market-based” reforms.

“It is time to admit that ObamaCare isn't going to work, decide not to waste a single cent more on it, and replace it with market-based reforms that will give people more health insurance choices and options,” he wrote.

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