Coburn: Government shutdown over ObamaCare would destroy the GOP

Sen. Tom CoburnTom CoburnMcCain: No third-party foes coming for Trump Tough choice for vulnerable GOP senators: Embrace or reject Trump The Trail 2016: Donald and the Supremes MORE (R-Okla.) said Friday that a plan spearheaded by Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeMeet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Overnight Cybersecurity: Guccifer plea deal raises questions in Clinton probe Senate panel delays email privacy vote amid concerns MORE (R-Utah) — and endorsed by at least a dozen Republican senators — to shut down the government to block funds for ObamaCare would cost the GOP control of the House and could destroy the party.

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“The strategy that has been laid out is a good way for Republicans to lose the House,” Coburn said in an interview with The Washington Examiner's Byron York.

“Lee’s answer [to critics] is, ‘Give me a different strategy,’” Coburn said. “Well, there isn’t one, because we lost the [election]. I’m getting phone calls from Oklahoma saying, ‘support Mike Lee,’ and I’m ramming right back — support him in destroying the Republican party?”

Lee says he’s recruited more than a dozen Republican colleagues willing to block 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 CornynJohn CornynClinton email headache is about to get worse Overnight Tech: House GOP launches probe into phone, internet subsidies Senators hope for deal soon on mental health bill MORE (Texas) and John ThuneJohn ThuneHow airport security lines got so bad Self-driving cars: The next great leap in automotive safety Overnight Tech: Senate panel poised to advance email privacy bill MORE (S.D.), have said they support Lee’s plan, as do influential conservatives and potential presidential candidates Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio apologized to Trump for 'small hands' crack Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on Fla. Senate candidate bashes Rubio MORE (Fla.) and Ted CruzTed CruzDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals Meet the billionaire donor behind Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker Party chairs see reversal of fortune MORE (Texas).

However, Sens. John McCainJohn McCainTrump: Illegal immigrants treated better than veterans Trump should apologize to heroic POWs McCain urges sports leagues to return 'paid patriotism' money MORE (R-Ari.) and Roy BluntRoy BluntSenators hope for deal soon on mental health bill Cruz: VA secretary 'should resign' Overnight Defense: VA chief 'deeply' regrets Disney remark; Senate fight brews over Gitmo MORE (R-Mo.) spoke out against the plan earlier this week. Sen. Richard BurrRichard BurrThe Trail 2016: Hell breaks loose Burr, Ross in statistical dead heat in NC Senate race Senate panel advances spy policy bill, after House approves its own version MORE (R-N.C.) called it “the dumbest idea I've ever heard.”

Coburn on Friday told The Washington Examiner he opposes Obamacare. But the GOP scheme did nothing more than create false expectations for the Republican base, because there’s no chance Obama will sign into law a spending bill that defunds his signature healthcare legislation, he said.

“The worst thing is being dishonest with your base about what you can accomplish, ginning everybody up and then creating disappointment,” he said. “It’s a terribly dangerous and not successful strategy.”

“You’re going to set an expectation among the conservatives in our party that we can achieve something that we’re not able to achieve,” he added. “It’s not an achievable strategy. It’s creating the false impression that you can do something when you can’t. And it’s dishonest.”


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