Rubio: If Obama Vetoes CR, Blame Him for Resulting Government Shutdown

By Curtis Houck | July 31, 2013 | 2:03 PM EDT

( - If Congress passes a continuing resolution (CR) that defunds President Obama's signature health care law, and the president refuses to sign it, any resulting government shutdown will be Obama’s fault, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Tuesday on the Senate floor.

"If we pass a budget that pays for everything except for Obamacare, and the President says he'll veto that, it is he who wants to shut down the government. It is he who is basically saying, 'I will shut down the government unless it pays for Obamacare.' And that is an unreasonable position. It's unreasonable because this law is so bad," Rubio said as he joined Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) in voicing his opposition to funding Obamacare.

If the player does not load, please check that you are running the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.

"Why would we continue to pour billions and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollar[s] into a disaster?" Rubio asked. "Why would we double down with your hard-earned money on a program that's going to hurt you?"

The upcoming debate, he added, is "our last best chance to do something about this," because Obamacare “is going to make it harder on the middle class. It's going to make it harder for middle-class jobs to be created.

"We have got to stop this from moving forward. The implications of this law are already being felt, but the regulations around this law, the mandates in this law, the fees and the costs and the new rate increases in this law, those things you're only going to start to feel right now in the next few months. You're really going to start to feel what this new law means to your life, to your business, to the place where you work."

Cruz, Lee, and Rubio are three of 12 Senate Republicans who have refused to agree to a CR to fund the federal government that also funds the individual mandate provision of Obamacare. The group signed a letter to Harry Reid stating that "the only way to divert disaster is to fully repeal Obamacare and start over with a more sensible, practical approach to reforming our healthcare system."

Members of Congress are already setting the stage for an anticipated budget showdown when Congress returns from its August recess. Funding for the federal government is authorized through September 30, and the current maximum borrowing amount, or debt ceiling, will be reached soon after.

Cruz also blasted Obamacare and urged his colleagues to listen to their constituents, whom he predicts will rise up against funding it in the coming month. "There is no legislation currently in effect  that is damaging the economy more, or damaging jobs more, than Obamacare," Cruz declared.

"If Obamacare were a good thing, if it were working, we can be sure President Obama would want it to go into full effect before the next election. He would want to take credit with the American people for the benefits of this signature bill. The fact that the President was forced to concede 'the wheels are coming off' to move the employer mandate until after the next election, I would suggest is highly, highly revealing."

The upcoming debate in Congress over the CR will be "the most important battle that this Congress will confront,” Cruz added. "We should be held accountable by our constituents and the American people know (that) this bill isn't working."

Lee, who led the colloquy, called the controversial healthcare law "ill-conceived, poorly crafted and damaging,” adding that "the American people deserve better. The American people demand better."

"This is not a good way to run a government. This is not a kind thing to do to an unsuspecting public, who hopes and expects that we have their best interests at heart."

Lee then challenged his colleagues, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who say they are against Obamacare, but have not committed to defunding it through the CR.

"I would invite you to consider the possibility that what you're doing, in thinking about funding it, isn't really where you want to go. Consider what might be said about this," Lee warned.

"Defund it or own it. If you fund it, you're for it."