Sen. Mike Johanns contends some Republicans in Congress over-promised, getting nothing in return after a partial shutdown of the federal government.
Johanns contends that the strategy some Republicans pursued, to threaten a shutdown of the federal government in exchange for defunding the federal healthcare law, was doomed from the beginning.
Johanns says it never had a chance. The math worked against it.
Though Republicans control the United States House, they serve in the minority in the Senate. There are not enough votes to change the federal healthcare law, officially called the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
Johanns says he can count and Republicans in the Senate could never muster the 60 votes to approve changes to the healthcare law, let alone strip it of funding. He says no Democrats will vote against their own president on his signature piece of legislation, let alone enough Democrats join Republicans to add up to the 67 votes needed to override a veto from President Barack Obama.
Johanns notes the continuing resolution to fund the federal government failed to pass Congress prior to the beginning of the federal fiscal year, October 1st. Still, the federal healthcare law moved forward.
Johanns says reality has set in and the talks have shifted to funding the government and dealing with the debt ceiling.
“I just think, finally, we’re focused on what we should be focusing on and that is – I want to get rid of Obamacare as much as anyone – but I also want to get this country’s fiscal situation on a more sustainable course than we’re at now,” Johanns says in an interview with Nebraska Radio Network.
Johanns says Congress needs to use the current impasse to curb government spending and rein in the debt.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]