Koch Industries to senators: We haven't lobbied to 'defund ObamaCare'

“Koch has not taken a position on the legislative tactic of tying the continuing resolution to defunding ObamaCare nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding ObamaCare,” Philip Ellender, Koch’s government and public affairs president, wrote in a letter to Senate lawmakers Wednesday. 

Koch Industries is a conglomerate of companies including Dixie Cups, Lycra and Brawny paper towels — all owned by the billionaire Koch brothers. 

Charles and David Koch, a recent New York Times report says, have been funneling money into the GOP’s effort to destroy President Obama’s healthcare law. They have been major backers of the Tea Party movement, which has led the push to defund ObamaCare in Congress.

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, a group linked to the Koch brothers, has paid more than $200 million to groups working to defund the law, the report says. But it also adds the group hasn’t promoted the fight itself.  

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On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) referred to the article on the Senate floor, saying former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese and the Koch brothers have been raising and spending “hundreds of millions of dollars to get to where we are now.”

“By shutting down the government — and that is what has happened — we are satisfying the Koch brothers and Ed Meese, but millions of people in America are suffering,” Reid said. 

Those comments, however, are misleading, Ellender wrote to senators. 

“Indeed, there was false information presented about Koch on the Senate floor by Senate Majority Leader Reid, who claimed yesterday that Koch was behind the shutdown of the federal government in an effort to defund the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare.”

Koch has only focused on educating the public about reducing the government’s debt, Ellender added. He urged senators in his letter to reduce government spending so that it no longer becomes necessary to constantly raise the debt ceiling. 

“We are hopeful this sets the record straight and that in the future Senator Reid and other politicians will stop misrepresenting and distorting Koch’s positions.”