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Coburn: Defunding ObamaCare strategy 'not intellectually honest'

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Thursday the expectation Republicans in Congress have raised about defunding ObamaCare is “not intellectually honest.” 

“I’m all for getting change in to the Affordable Care Act, eliminating it, and doing something that’s more transparent and more market-oriented,” Coburn said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe. “But to create the impression that we can defund ObamaCare when the only thing we control — and barely — is the U.S. House of Representatives is not intellectually honest.“

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) gave a 21-hour floor speech this week calling for Republicans to block a government-funding measure if language in the bill defunding ObamaCare is removed by Senate Democrats. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to strip the language in a vote this week that will only require a majority of senators for approval, not a supermajority of 60 votes. 

Coburn praised Cruz for his speech but criticized the Tea Party senator’s strategy. 

“Do people not think that if I could change ObamaCare, I could do it in a minute? It’s the disappointment that we have put a short-term goal ahead with lousy tactics instead of being honest with the American people. “

Coburn said he doesn’t think the healthcare law can be eliminated until President Obama leaves office. 

Coburn actually gave Obama credit for reducing some government waste. 

“I’ve got to give the president credit. His budget this year at least addressed a few of those issues that [the Governmental Accountability Office] has raised. Congress hasn’t addressed any of them,” he said. 

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