WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said his Republican colleagues who are pushing to defund Obamacare -- even if it means risking a government shutdown -- aren't facing the "political reality" that they're going to lose.
"Tactics and strategies ought to be based on what the real world is, and we do not have the political power to do this," Coburn said during an appearance on CBS's "Face the Nation." "We're not about to shut the government down over the fact that we cannot, only controlling one house of Congress, tell the president that we’re not going to fund any portion of this. Because we can’t do that.”
The Senate is preparing to vote next week on a House-passed bill that would both fund the government past Oct. 1 and strip funding for President Barack Obama's signature health care law. Despite Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and a handful of others vowing to do whatever it takes defund Obamacare, Democrats are expected to cut the Obamacare piece from the government funding bill and send it back to the House.
Coburn said he agrees that if Republicans controlled Congress they should be voting to take down Obamacare. But they don't, and he said he doesn't expect his party to force a government shutdown over the matter.
"I think the exercise is fine," said the Oklahoma senator, but "right now, with our economy where it is ... we actually have a crisis of confidence in our country right now. Both in Congress and with the president."