Coburn predicts ObamaCare defunding 'tactic' won't be successful

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Sunday that Republicans wouldn't be able to defund ObamaCare, despite many conservatives pushing to end the healthcare reform law. 

Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Coburn said House Republicans attaching a provision to defund ObamaCare to the short-term spending bill they passed on Friday has helped highlight the law’s problems. But the move in the end will not be successful, according to the Oklahoma Republican.

“I think it’s a great attempt to raise the issue of some of the weaknesses and problems with ObamaCare, but it’s not a tactic we can actually carry out and be successful,” Coburn said.

The government is set to run out of funds Oct. 1, and the Senate, which is in Democratic hands, is expected to reject the GOP spending bill due to its anti-ObamaCare provision. The debate over whether to force a government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act has split Republicans, with many sniping at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has forced the issue.

Coburn, a strident budget hawk, cited the Congressional Research Service (CRS) as well as Republicans not having the votes in the Senate to defund ObamaCare. He said if it were possible, he “would be in the fight.”

“We don’t have the ability, both according to CRS nor politically, do we have the ability to put a total stop and defund ObamaCare,” Coburn said. “It would be nice if we did. I would be in the fight.”