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Sen. Pat Toomey Says “Not now” To Mike Lee’s CR ObamaCare Strategy

In an email to a constituent, US Senator Pat Toomey made it official yesterday…sort of.
He’s not going to back his colleague Mike Lee’s bid to defund ObamaCare through a Continuing Resolution fight…for now.
After telling her that he really, really doesn’t like ObamaCare and listing a bunch of reasons why it must be defeated, he indicates that he has not signed on to Lee’s effort “at this point” for “tactical” reasons.
“The question is – would my signing the letter help us get ObamaCare dismantled, defunded, or repealed sooner? For a number of reasons, I am not convinced that it would.”
Read the entire letter here.
August 8, 2013
Dear Hannah,
Thank you for contacting my office about discretionary funding and ObamaCare. I appreciate hearing from you.
The president’s health care law is fundamentally wrong in its approach to improving our nation’s health care system. This law imposes onerous new mandates and regulations that will have numerous unintended consequences. It’s bad for patients, it’s bad for doctors, and it’s bad for our economy. Additionally, it threatens to put serious strains on our nation’s long term fiscal outlook.
Since the law’s unfortunate adoption, I have made it perfectly clear that I want to completely repeal ObamaCare. I am in favor of defunding it to the extent we can and have consistently voted in favor of efforts to undo the law. I also am an original cosponsor of legislation, including one introduced by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), that would achieve this goal.
As you may know, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is circulating a letter to Senate Leadership pledging not to support a continuing resolution or any other appropriations legislation that includes ObamaCare funding. While I value your input on this matter and support the intentions behind Senator Lee’s letter, I have not signed onto it at this point. My reasons are tactical. The question is – would my signing the letter help us get ObamaCare dismantled, defunded, or repealed sooner? For a number of reasons, I am not convinced that it would.
For instance, the vast majority of ObamaCare is funded outside the discretionary spending process. Even if we eliminated all ObamaCare discretionary funding in a continuing resolution or other appropriations bill, a substantial majority of the law would still go forward – including all of the taxes, the harmful individual mandate, and the insurance exchanges. In addition, President Obama is not going to sign a bill that totally eliminates his signature achievement. Shutting down the government will unfortunately not change this outcome, and the fallout from such an unsuccessful effort could undermine our efforts to dismantle ObamaCare.
Instead of focusing solely on discretionary funding bills as a tactic, I will continue working with my Senate colleagues on a broader array of strategies to dismantle ObamaCare. As the American people become increasingly aware of how awful this law is for them, I remain hopeful that we can achieve this goal. This effort could include dismantling ObamaCare piece-by-piece – for instance, we could delay or eliminate the individual mandate or repeal the harmful medical device tax. As I continue engaging with Senator Lee and other colleagues on this important issue, please be assured that I will keep your concerns in mind.
Again, thank you for reaching out to me. Please do not hesitate to contact my office in the future.
Pat Toomey
U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania



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