By Jonathan Easley - 07/31/13 04:49 PM EDT
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who is spearheading a plan to shut down the government if funding for ObamaCare isn't blocked, hit back at GOP critics Tuesday, saying they would have to answer to their constituents for abandoning the fight against the president’s healthcare law.
Lee says that about 67 House Republicans and 13 of his colleagues in the Senate have endorsed his plan to block a continuing resolution to fund the government beyond Sept. 30 if it includes funds for implementing the president’s healthcare reform.
However, backlash against the plan has picked up steam recently among some Republicans in the Senate who worry that a shutdown would harm the GOP politically.
Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) spoke out against the plan last week, and fellow Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) called it “the dumbest idea I've ever heard.”
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has warned a government shutdown would cost the GOP control of the House, with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) mocking the effort as “silly.”
“Those kinds of statements are not helpful,” Lee said Wednesday. “Those kinds of statements are divisive, but they are nothing compared to what we will hear from the American people when they discover that this law goes into effect.”
A number of high-profile conservative groups, though, are pressing lawmakers to endorse the proposal.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), however, has declined to back the plan, saying he is still weighing the best strategy.