By Mario Trujillo - 10/14/13 08:55 PM EDT
Republicans would need to net six seats in 2014 to win back control of the chamber if Cory Booker (D) is successful in New Jersey’s special election later this week.
Labrador was responding to criticism from some Republicans who say the battle to defund or delay provisions of ObamaCare has been harmful to the party. Polls have shown the GOP at record lows in budget negotiations.
Labrador reiterated that he does not think the debt ceiling is the place to debate ObamaCare funding. He said Republicans should use the continuing funding resolution to pressure Democrats on ObamaCare while saving the borrowing limit to extract debt savings.
He said if the United States was only able to see deficit reduction in 2011 because House Republicans pushed for concessions to raise the debt limit that year.
“The president takes credit for that,” he said. “Senate Republicans take credit for that. But the reality is if House Republicans had not fought for cutting spending and cutting the deficits, we wouldn’t have the cuts that we have had over the last three years.”
Labrador said budget negotiations never look pretty, but they are ultimately good for the economy. He also said if there are no systematic changes to the debt, he would vote against raising the borrowing limit before Oct. 17.
“In the middle of the fight it never looks pretty,” he said. “But the reality is that when you get out of the fight you realize that you actually made a difference for America.”
A deal to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling in the Senate has rolled into a larger plan that would call for small ObamaCare changes and the formation of a conference committee to replace sequestration cuts in exchange for raising the borrowing cap and funding the government through early next year.