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Coats Compares Obamacare Shutdown Play to Bad Football Strategy

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Dan Coats is squarely against the push by some other Republicans to threaten a government shutdown over funding for Obamacare.

In an opinion piece published Friday on the website of The Indianapolis Star, Coats says that while he will support delaying implementation of the health care law until 2015, a law which he has long opposed, the position taken by a number of Republicans in both chambers is ill-advised.

“I have voted more than two dozen times to repeal, defund and strip provisions from Obamacare. It is a principle I share with all Republicans, and I will continue to support these efforts,” the Indiana lawmaker wrote. “I want the result to be victory, which is why I have concerns with a push by some to shut down the government.”

Coats is squarely on the side of Republican senators such as Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who circulated a Congressional Research Service report showing that Obamacare would continue under a government shutdown, and Richard M. Burr of North Carolina. Burr called the defunding move the “dumbest idea.”

In the opinion piece, Coats compares the idea touted by GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas and others to a football coach taking excessive risk. Those senators want Republicans to oppose enactment of any continuing resolution to fund the government that funds the health care law.

“On the gridiron, it is usually the better call to kick a field goal and send a game into overtime than to try a last-second ‘Hail Mary’ pass in hopes of a win. The contest over Obamacare can be won in overtime. Let’s allow the American people to decide the final score,” Coats wrote.

Coats outlines potential costs of a government shutdown for his Indiana constituents, effects that Cruz and others have sought to downplay.

In the House, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, told members of his conference Thursday that he intends to move a short-term continuing resolution next month. House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington

next month. House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington said at an event Thursday that an effort “to get the entire bill repealed, or defunded, is probably not realistic.”

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