Exclusive: Rand Paul Fires Back at AP, Says He'll Continue to Fight ObamaCare Funding
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Breitbart News on Saturday evening that an Associated Press report that claimed he said that Americans “probably can’t get rid of Obamacare” is inaccurate.
“I’ve been saying the same thing I’ve been saying all along,” Paul said. “I didn’t say anything different today than I haven’t already been saying. It’s kind of interesting that people create it to be news but I’ve said all along and continue to say that I won’t vote to fund Obamacare. I don’t think we should fund Obamacare.”
The AP’s Thomas Beaumont wrote on Saturday that Paul said Obamacare “probably can't be defeated or gotten rid of. And he's suggesting there is little he and other congressional Republicans can do to stop the law from taking effect. Speaking to reporters Saturday at a gathering of Michigan Republicans, Paul says Republicans could use votes on measures in the House and in the Senate to come up with compromise legislation. But the Kentucky Republican says that time for that is running out.”
“An opponent of the law many call ‘Obamacare,’ Paul says he's acknowledging that, in his words, ‘we probably can't defeat or get rid of Obamacare,’” Beaumont continued. “He says that working from the position of not funding the health care law might help render it, quote, ‘less bad.’”
In Beaumont’s three paragraph article, he did not include even one full sentence of a quote from Sen. Paul. So Breitbart News reached out to Paul to clarify, and Paul argued that he absolutely thinks a good solution can be reached as a result of this fight to defund Obamacare.
“What exactly happens?,” Paul said in his phone interview with Breitbart News, “I mean no one knows, but I think everyone expects that the Republican House was going to defund it, which has occurred. And the Democrats in the Senate are going to vote to fund it. I’m going to vote to defund it.”
Paul said he thinks the key is that the House did its job, and now Senate Republicans need to fight to get to that point.
“I still support the effort and I’ll still vote to defund Obamacare.”
Paul added in an email after the interview that he “will not vote for any CR [continuing resolution] that funds Obamacare,” and that “if there is one penny for Obamacare I will vote 'no.'”
As for an outcome of what will happen in terms of which “impasse” he said the House and Senate will end up at, he said he does not know. “I can’t tell you the outcome but I can tell you A or B,” meaning that either there is a filibuster of the House bill to prevent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from stripping Obamacare defunding language from the House CR, or the Senate succeeds in stripping the defund language and the House holds strong by going to a conference and negotiating further takedowns of Obamacare.
“It isn’t my job to guess how this ends,” Paul said in the email, adding that his job is to fight against Obamacare.
“It is my job to stand up against Obamacare,” Paul said.
In his phone interview with Breitbart News, Paul said that red state Democrats up for re-election next year might break and vote with Republicans to defund Obamacare, but “not on a cloture motion.”
“The Democrats stay pretty solid on a cloture motion,” Paul said. “It will be an indirect vote and they’ll weather the storm. If cloture is invoked and there is a vote on stripping out the defund parts of the House bill that some of us favor, three or four Democrats will get a pass. There would be a 51-vote margin, and they [red state Democrats] may well vote that way [in favor of defunding Obamacare]. I don’t know. Most of them have been supportive of Obamacare all along, but they might think it would help their election to vote otherwise. But anyway, I haven’t really changed my position. My position has stayed always the same. I’m going to vote to defund Obamacare and I think that’s the best thing for the country.”
On plans from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) that he might filibuster the House bill to prevent Reid from stripping the Obamacare defunding language from it, Paul said:
You can filibuster the bill, and I will support not ending debate on it. Although it is a little bit of an unusual vote in the sense that you’d be filibustering a bill that you support. But you have to do that, in order to never go on the bill. That’s an impasse. But you’re also at an impasse if the Senate simply passes a Senate version and the House has a version. Then you’re still at an impasse. So I’m not sure if you’re at a different impasse if you’re successful in filibustering the bill, it’s just another form of impasse. I don’t know exactly what the difference is, necessarily, between a filibuster and the Democrats passing a version and having a Republican-passed version. I know of no way once you get past cloture of forcing a 60-vote margin on the motion to strike language. So if they move to strike the defund language, I’m pretty sure the parliamentarian will say that’s a 51-vote margin.