GOP Sen. Mike Lee (Utah), a leader of the crusade to defund President Obama's signature healthcare reform law, applauded House Republicans for moving a short-term funding bill that would delay, for one year, implementation of provisions in the healthcare law set to go into effect on Oct. 1st and repeal the medical device tax.
"I support what the House has done. I support what the House did last night based on what I've heard about it, haven't yet seen it," Lee told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.
It remains unclear how conservative senators, including Lee, will move forward when the upper chamber considers the measure Monday afternoon – 10 hours before a government shutdown could occur if Congress fails to agree on a bill.
Lee was behind the conservative effort to defund ObamaCare in its entirety - a tactic that many House Republicans did not appreciate - since the Utah senator and his compatriot, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), met privately with conservative lawmakers to urge them to oppose a funding bill if leaders refused to add ObamaCare poison pill riders.
The Utah senator deflected a question on the propriety of his actions in encouraging an uprising among conservatives in the House that could lead to a government shutdown.
"Look, Republicans are doing everything that we can to protect America from a shutdown and protect America from the harmful effects of ObamaCare. This law is not ready to be implemented," Lee said.
His GOP Senate colleague, Rand Paul (Ky.), also dodged on a similar question from "Face The Nation" host Bob Scheiffer.
Asked if he was "wiling to take the blame if the government shuts down," Paul responded, "I've said all along it's not a good idea to shut down government ... but I also don't think that it's a good idea to give the president 100 percent of what he wants on ObamaCare without compromise."
Paul posed his own question, "why won't the president negotiate and come to a compromise on trying to make ObamaCare less bad?"
The No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that he would be willing to sit down and discuss changes with Republicans on ObamaCare, including a possible repeal of the medical device tax, but he refused to do so when it is attached to a must-pass funding bill.
"I'm willing to look at that, but not with a gun to my head," Durbin said on CBS.