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McConnell Rules Out Future Government Shutdowns Over Obamacare

AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster

“There is no education in the second kick of a mule," he added. "There will not be a government shutdown."

A day after signing a bill reopening government and averting default, President Barack Obama had a message for Republicans who threatened default in order to gut the Affordable Care Act: win an election if you want reform.

"You don't like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position," Obama said at the White House. "Go out there and win an election. Push to change it."

McConnell seemed to echo this argument, telling the Hill that the GOP's only chance to repeal Obamacare would come in 2016.

“They may, depending upon the amount of heat they get from their constituents because of rising premiums, because of job loss, because of the chaos of the exchanges, they may be open to changes,” he said. “But full-scale repeal is obviously something that’s not going to be achievable until I’m the majority leader of the Senate and we have a new president."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) also predicted Thursday that Republicans would opt against shutting down the government now that they've seen the GOP brand plummet at the polls.

"We're not going to go through the shutdown again," McCain said on CNN's New Day. "People have been too traumatized by it. There's too much damage."