GOP Senator: Gov’t Shutdown Threats Over Obamacare ‘The Dumbest Idea I’ve Ever Heard’

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) on Thursday tore into efforts by his GOP colleagues to shut down the government if Democrats don’t agree to defund Obamacare.

“I think it’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of,” he told reporters. “Listen, as long as Barack Obama is president, the Affordable Care Act is going to be law.”

“I was around in ’95. I think some of these guys need to understand, you shut down the federal government, you better have a specific reason to do it that’s achievable. Defunding the Affordable Care Act is not achievable through shutting down the federal government.”

Listen to audio of Burr’s remarks, as clipped by Todd Zwillich, Washington correspondent for The Takeaway from Public Radio International.


Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.