Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will not yet say whether he backs efforts by conservatives to defund Obamacare in the next vote to extend the federal budget through a continuing resolution (CR).
In an email exchange with Breitbart News, McConnell’s Senate communications director, Don Stewart, said that the Minority Leader has supported efforts to defund Obamacare in the past and did not commit one way or the other on defunding the Affordable Car Act using the upcoming CR fight in September.
“As you know, funding bills originate in the House,” Stewart said. “And while I can’t predict what the final version the House passes will look like, I can say with certainty that the Leader will work to get a vote on the Cruz bill to defund Obamacare just has he has done on past bills.”
“The Leader continues to believe that we should defund, dismantle and fully repeal Obamacare,” he continued. “The Republican Conference is united in that position and he is a co-sponsor of bills to do all three.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), along with allies like Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rand Paul (R-KY), is trying traget Obamacare in the next CR, which funds the entire government, in the next two months. The CR will be voted on by the end of September, and conservatives are trying to remove funding for Obamacare from the resolution. The move would force Senate Democrat leadership and President Barack Obama to make a decision: shut the government down or agree to defund the healthcare regulation bill.
Over the course of several emails over the past few days with Breitbart News, Stewart and other McConnell aides argued the Minority Leader opposes Obamacare but would not answer when asked multiple times whether he would promise to vote against any government funding mechanism that includes paying for Obamacare’s implementation.
Lee has circulated a letter to Senate Republicans pushing for the defunding of Obamacare in the next CR, which McConnell has not signed. Chris Chocola, the president of the GOP-primary powerhouse Club for Growth, has called on McConnell to sign the Lee letter.