October 18, 2013 — Although the bipartisan agreement reached this week to end the federal government shutdown largely defeated a Republican effort to defund the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) some conservative lawmakers on Thursday pledged to continue their efforts against the law in upcoming budget negotiations, the Washington Post reports (Eilperin, Washington Post, 10/17).
In an interview on Fox News' "Hannity," Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said, "We have missed a golden opportunity to do something about it. But we haven't given up the fight." He urged U.S. residents "not [to] feel depressed" about the outcome because "[w]e are going to prevail on this issue. It is just a matter of time" (Cox, "Hill Tube," The Hill, 10/17).
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in an interview with ABC News on Thursday said, "I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare." When asked if he would consider another shutdown over the law, Cruz said, "What I intend to do is continue to stand with the American people working to stop Obamacare" (Blake, "Post Politics," Washington Post, 10/17).
Meanwhile, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), in an interview on Fox News' "America's Newsroom," vowed to use "every opportunity" to push for vote on a measure that would bar federal lawmakers and their staff from receiving employer contributions in the exchanges. He said, "I guarantee you [my proposal] will be back," adding, "I'm not going away and this issue is certainly not going away" (Viebeck, "Hill Tube," The Hill, 10/17).
Sen. Minority Leader McConnell Quells Shutdown Talk
However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) -- who helped broker the deal to end the shutdown -- on Thursday said he would block any future efforts against the ACA that could cause another shutdown, The Hill reports.
McConnell said, "One of my favorite old Kentucky sayings is there's no education in the second kick of a mule. The first kick of a mule was when we shut the government down in the mid-1990s and the second kick was over the last 16 days." He added, "There is no education in the second kick of a mule. There will not be a government shutdown."
When asked about some Republicans still pushing for a shutdown, McConnell said, "I think we have fully now acquainted our new members with what a losing strategy that is" (Bolton, The Hill, 10/17).
In a separate interview, McConnell criticized conservatives' defunding plan, saying, "It was not a smart play," adding, "It had no chance of success" (Raju, Politico, 10/18).