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ICYMI: Rubio Discusses Legislation to Delay ObamaCare Mandate On CNN

Oct 25, 2013 | Press Releases

Rubio: “What I’m focused on is trying to save real people from real damage. I just think it’s unfair. It’s fundamentally unfair to fine people, to tax people, to send the IRS after people for not buying health insurance when the website they’re supposed to buy it on doesn’t work.”

Interview on CNN’s “New Day”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
October 25, 2013

CNN’s Kate Bolduan: I want to ask you about the rollout of ObamaCare and the fiasco, really, surrounding it. You’re pushing for a bill to delay the individual mandate until the website is fixed. The White House has so far given no indication that they’re open to that. That’s really the core of this program. Have you heard back from the letter you sent to them?

Senator Marco Rubio: No, we haven’t, unfortunately. Other than the statement by Mr. Carney at one of the press conferences saying that I was less than sincere about our effort. I don’t understand that because a week ago, when we met with the President, he said that after all this government shutdown stuff passed he would work with anybody to fix the things that were wrong in the law. Now look, clearly I want to repeal ObamaCare. I think it’s a bad law for the country. I think it’s the wrong way to do a right thing. And that’s help people access health insurance. What I’m focused on is trying to save real people from real damage. I just think it’s unfair. It’s fundamentally unfair to fine people, to tax people, to send the IRS after people for not buying health insurance when the website they’re supposed to buy it on doesn’t work. And that’s all the law says. It says: Until that website is working, don’t fine people. I don’t understand how anybody could be against that.

Bolduan: Are you in conversations, or are you working with any of the Democrats who are pushing very similar or almost the same kind of proposal you are?

Rubio: We are reaching out to offices across the aisle as well. We’re trying to get as many people to support us. I don’t see this as a partisan thing. I think we’re going to continue to have a debate about the merits of ObamaCare. All this says is: We should not be penalizing anybody until this website is working. Because that is the main way we’ve told people they’re going to be able to get health insurance. And I think that’s something, that at the end of the day, is going to have to happen. And it’s something that should unite us. It shouldn’t be something that divides us from a partisan perspective.

Bolduan: I want you though to answer to the criticism that you alluded to. Democrats, they argue that your prescription for a fix here, and some by other Republicans, is just a thinly veiled attempt to try to derail this law. You know, and you said, that you do not support it. How do you answer to them?

Rubio: They can say that. And there’s no doubt that I would like to derail ObamaCare. But that’s not what this bill does. All this bill says, all this bill says is: You can’t penalize people until the website works. I don’t understand how that is something that could possibly — how somebody could take a position against something like that. I think that makes all the sense in the world.

Bolduan: Following the 16-day government shutdown and the hit that Republicans took for their approach in terms of linking funding the government to defunding the health care law, do you now stand with your leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, who says there will be no more government shutdowns?

Rubio: Well again, I don’t think the government shutdown was our choice, despite the way it’s been presented to the American public. The fact of the matter is me and my Republican colleagues, and the House actually acted on this, were prepared to fund the entire government, every single penny of it. Including programs and elements of it we didn’t agree with. As long as we didn’t spend or waste a penny more on this broken health care law. It’s the Democrats who decided to shut down the government. Because their point was: Unless we fund everything, including ObamaCare, we fund nothing. They’re the ones that shut down the government. So you have to ask them.

Bolduan: It sounds like it’s a difference, obviously not surprised, a difference in view point. You can’t really have those two things together. Mitch McConnell acknowledged it was a faulty approach to try to take on ObamaCare when you’re looking at a government shutdown. So you don’t think that was a faulty approach?

Rubio: No. Again, all I can tell you is that the House passed a bill that funded the government, but did not fund ObamaCare. It sent it over to the Senate and the Senate leadership, the Democrats, rejected it. Had they accepted that bill there would not have been a government shutdown.

Bolduan: You really think there’s any chance the President would accept a bill that would defund a law that has his name on it?

Rubio: Well then we have a disagreement, right? On a significant policy issue. But that is the most important power that the Congress has. Is the power to fund or not fund things. That’s a constitutional power. It is the rightful power of Congress to decide what to spend their money on or what not to spend taxpayer money on. That’s a legitimate exercise of congressional power.