Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) on Tuesday said that delaying Obamacare for individuals and families is a “small ask” and seemed to count the president enrolling in the health care law’s exchanges as a demand in resolving the budget battle.
“You’re well aware that all we’ve asked for is that the president and the administration join us in Obamacare, the American people and Congress, and that individuals and families be treated just like big business,” Duffy told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “That’s what they’re holding out for.”
Mitchell then pointed out that delaying Obamacare is a “non-negotiable demand,” a premise Duffy contested.
“With all due respect, this is about military death benefits to kids, to 19-year-old kids who have died in Afghanistan and are not returning home,” Mitchell said. “This is about what their families are entitled to by law and what they are not getting. This is not about what you want in Obamacare and not about what the president wants on the debt ceiling.”
“Don’t spin that on me,” Duffy said, adding that Republican-supported continuing resolutions to fund small portions of the government are intended to address those benefits.
“You are asking me about the larger issue of why can’t people resolve this government shutdown, and we have been incredibly reasonable making a small ask,” he continued.
“You consider it a small ask that he get rid of the central part of his health care plan, that was upheld by the vote of a United States presidential election and the United States Supreme Court?” Mitchell asked.
“Andrea hold on, that’s your spin,” Duffy said.
“That’s not spin,” Mitchell said.
Duffy then pressed Mitchell to defend why the president and his staff don’t have health plans on the Obamacare exchanges.
“I can’t defend why Congress and the white house cannot figure out a way to reopen the government so that our kids and their families can get their benefits,” Mitchell responded.
“I want viewers to know this has been a reasonable approach on our part to go, ‘everyone equal under the law, the President and Congress in Obamacare,'” Duffy said. “If it’s good for America, it’s good enough for the people who passed the law.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.