The schism within the Republican Party over whether or not to gut Obamacare grew wider on Friday with one of the most conservative senators splashing cold water on the idea.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) told conservative writer Byron York that, while he'd "love" to cut funding for the new health care law, it's an unrealistic push by the handful of GOP senators who have pledged to oppose any continuing resolution or appropriations bill that funds Obamacare.
“I’d love to defund it,” Coburn said. “I’d be leading the charge if I thought this would work. But it will not work.”
The Oklahoma Republican said the lawmakers who are leading the defunding charge — a group that includes Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT, Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) — are being "dishonest" with their base about what they can actually get done.
“It’s a denial of reality mixed with a whole bunch of hype to promote groups and individuals who are saying, ‘I’m going to give you hope’ for something that we can’t do,” Coburn said.
Coburn's fellow Sooner State Republican, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), also slammed fellow party members who have threatened a government shutdown unless Obamacare is gutted. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), meanwhile, said Thursday that the effort to shut down the government if the health care law isn't defunded "the dumbest idea I've ever heard of."