Don’t count Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee on board with GOP threats to shut down the government if the president’s health care plan isn’t defunded pronto.
“It’s a silly effort, and what people are really saying who are behind that effort is that we don’t have the courage to roll up our sleeves and deal with real deficit reductions and spending decisions,” Corker said on Tuesday’s The Daily Rundown.
“We want to take ourselves out of the debate and act like we are being principled to the American people by saying ‘if there’s one dime of funding for Obamacare, we’re not going to vote for the [continuing resolution],’” said Corker. “I don’t look at that as very courageous."
Corker said both he and the public would “see through it and understand what’s really taking place” by taking themselves out of the debate.
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah last week said he’d threaten to shut down the government unless Obamacare was fully defunded, and said other conservative senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, would join him.
Other Republicans have echoed Corker in their concerns. Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said the "strategy that has been laid out is a good way for Republicans to lose the House.” And Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said on Monday's NOW with Alex Wagner that such a move would be a "suicidal political tactic."
Corker, the former Chattanooga mayor, said he didn’t know enough yet about the President Obama’s anticipated plan he’ll unveil in Corker’s hometown this afternoon to cut corporate tax rates in exchange for more job investments. But Corker, who’s been open to reaching across the aisle before and has a good relationship with the president, said did very briefly talk with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough this morning, though he said many Republicans would still be skeptical of anything that raised taxes.
“It would have to be a massive deal for any kind of Republican to look at revenues as part of this,” said Corker.