By Kyle Balluck - 10/20/13 03:47 PM EDT
The Senate minority leader said he agreed with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who fought to tie the government shutdown to efforts to defund ObamaCare, that President Obama’s signature healthcare reform law should be repealed. But McConnell said it would not happen in the current Congress.
“I certainly agree with Sen. Cruz that ObamaCare is a train wreck. … We’re going to do everything we can in the future to repeal it. But that requires a Republican Senate and a different president,” McConnell said.
“[ObamaCare is] a failure. The government simply isn’t going to be able to get this job done correctly. .. This is a very bad deal for the American people,” McConnell added.
McConnell repeated a pledge made to The Hill last week that there will not be another government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act.
"There won't be another government shutdown,” the Senate minority leader said. “You can count on that."
“Look, shutting down the government, in my view, is not conservative policy. I don’t think a two-week paid vacation for federal employees is conservative policy,” McConnell said.
McConnell also urged Obama to now “take advantage of divided government” and address entitlement reform
“Divided government is actually an opportunity to tackle tough stuff. … I wish President Obama would lead and take advantage of the opportunities presented by divided government.”
McConnell, however, said Obama so far has attached a “ransom” to fiscal negotiations.
“Every discussion about this we’ve had in the past has had what I would call a ransom attached to it – $ 1 trillion in new tax revenues.”
--This report was updated at 6:48 p.m.