Republican senators raise pressure on Obama to withdraw birth-control mandate

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also urged the president to reconsider.

"The solution is for the president to just come back and say, 'you know what, maybe we overreached, maybe we went too far; we've heard from a lot of people and we're going to reconsider this decision,' " Rubio said. "There's nothing wrong with that. We have plenty of other issues to argue with this president about."

Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), the top Republican on the Senate HELP Committee, for his part raised procedural concerns. In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, he raised concerns that the administration provided "no legal or policy basis" for its decision to give religiously affiliated plans an extra year to comply with the mandate.

Also Wednesday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) sent Obama a pointed letter urging him to drop the regulations.

"The First Amendment provides that no law may prohibit the free exercise of religion. Yet, the current mandate does exactly that," Cornyn wrote. "It is unprecedented in its overreach into the religious freedom of faith-based organizations. Furthermore, this encroachment into the ability of individuals and entities to make personal decisions based on these beliefs sets an unacceptable and dangerous precedent."

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a similar letter to Sebelius on Tuesday.

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