In a letter to U.S senators dated Wednesday, Koch Industries denied ever advocating for a government shutdown as a way to force the defunding of Obamacare. The letter was in response to comments on the Senate floor Tuesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in which he blamed Koch for the shutdown, which followed a conservative push to pressure Democrats into defunding or delaying Obamacare to keep the government open.
“Koch believes that Obamacare will increase deficits, lead to an overall lowering of the standard of health care in America, and raise taxes,” the letter said. “However, Koch has not taken a position on the legislative tactic of tying the continuing resolution to defunding Obamacare nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding Obamacare.”
The letter was sent by Philip Ellender, president of government and public affairs for Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC. It was not immediately clear if the letter was sent to all senators.
Koch Industries is headed by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who are major contributors to various conservative causes. A New York Times story on the origins of the defund Obamacare fight noted that groups that received Koch support have been significant forces in opposing the health care reform law.
The full letter is below.