Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Fox News Sunday that a government shutdown is a bad idea, but he'll do it to fight Obamacare anyway.
"I don't think shutting down the government is a good idea, but I do think that we were elected, conservatives were elected, to try to stop this overreach, this government takeover of healthcare," Paul said.
Paul was one of 15 senators who vowed in writing to shut down the government if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was not defunded. So far, Republicans have not put forth an alternative bill.
Paul said the GOP should use their desire to avoid a government shutdown to force Democrats to compromise.
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"People want us to stand up and fight, I'm willing to stand up and fight," Paul said. "We should use the leverage of controlling one-third of the government. We don't control all of the government, but Republicans control the House of Representatives, they should stand up, use that power to at the very least make that law less bad, delay it, do something we can to protect the American public from the law."
The House of Representatives has voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare.
If the Senate cannot reach an agreement, the spending bill will expire Sept. 30, and all non-essential government services will be shut down. There are 800,000 government employees that will be furloughed if that occurs.
Congress shut down the government in 1995 and 1996 over the funding of Medicare, among other things. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who led the charge in the 1990s, argued with Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday’s “Crossfire” that the move didn’t hurt the GOP.
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Blitzer said the move led to President Bill Clinton’s reelection in 1996.
“Incumbent presidents getting reelected is a lot more common than Republican congress getting reelected in 1996,” Gingrich argued.
Gingrich has criticized the GOP for not having an alternative health plan, but said he doesn’t support Obamacare.
“I don’t think we should shut the government down,” Gingrich told Blitzer. “I think we should finance all of the government except Obamacare.”