Sen. Deb Fischer insists she doesn’t want to shut the federal government down, but does agree with the strategy pursued by some Republicans in Washington to tie defunding the federal health care law with efforts to keep the government running through December.
House Republican leadership has announced it will bring legislation to the floor Friday to keep the federal government running for the remainder of the year. That legislation though will contain an interesting rider. It will fund the government only if the legislation does not fund the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.
Fischer supports the move.
“We’re $17 trillion in debt. I do not believe that funding this healthcare law is the priority,” Fischer tells reporters during her weekly conference call.
Fischer emphasizes she doesn’t want to see the federal government shut down October first, but doesn’t believe Washington will seriously address overspending unless it perceives the threat as real.
“So, yes, I think this is a strategy and it’s one that I am using with some of my colleagues,” Fischer says.
Fischer says taking the issue to the brink could force Congress to confront three things about the law: its cost, its readiness and its exemptions.
Fischer says Congress has taken the time to adequately estimate its cost.
Much of the law has yet to go into effect. That comes shortly, October first. Fischer doesn’t believe the federal government is ready.
Fischer remains critical of the exemptions and postponements given by the Obama Administration, including the delay of the employer mandate. Fischer says that if the law is to go into effect, it must treat all equally.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]