Politics

Obamacare Opponent Sen. Mike Lee Skips Town Hours Before Possible Government Shutdown

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, after fighting side by side with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to defund Obamacare, left Washington D.C. hours before a possible government shutdown, according to ThinkProgress.

While Lee’s Republican colleagues cancelled previous engagements because of the ongoing budget negotiation, Lee is expected to give a speech and sign books at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Missouri on Saturday.

Lee, who vowed to vote against any resolution that includes funding for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care act, left D.C. for St. Louis Saturday morning, just 60 hours before a government shutdown.

Every other member of Congress who was scheduled to speak at CPAC cancelled, including Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

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“What’s going on in Washington this weekend, especially with the CR is so important that the Members of Congress could not leave Washington,” Laura Regis, the American Conservative Union’s national communications director, told ThinkProgress.

Last weekend, Lee told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that there would be no shutdown.

"No. We all know that the government is going to be funded. The questions is whether it will be funded with Obamacare or without," Lee said.

On Thursday, Lee and Cruz told GOP congressmen in a conference call to stick to their guns to defund Obamacare.

Cruz himself cancelled a Texas appearance Friday night.

The Senate voted 54-44 on Friday night to remove the GOP provision to defund Obamacare in a continuing budget resolution. The stripped resolution was returned to the House of Representatives for a vote on Saturday.

Sources: Washington Post, ThinkProgress