by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey
All my Republican colleagues and I want to end Obamacare completely. All the Democrats support Obamacare and want it to continue. The Republicans control the House and have passed defunding legislation. Democrats control the Senate and will not pass defunding legislation. Thus, we are at an impasse.
[On Thursday], seeking to break this all-or-nothing standoff, I proposed a way to fund the government and to repeal some of the most egregious parts of this terrible law. Acknowledging that Senator Reid has the votes to strip the bill of its Obamacare defunding language, I sought to offer three modest amendments to the Senate bill. The first would repeal the medical device tax that is costing Pennsylvania jobs; the second would provide relief from the infringement on religious liberty in Obamacare; the third would delay the individual mandate for 1 year.
Those three items all have bipartisan support, could have passed the Senate, and might well be acceptable to the House. But we will never know because the Democratic leadership would not permit me to offer those amendments. For this reason, and others, I voted against the measure.
I remain hopeful that Congress will avoid a government shutdown. I will continue working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress to find a responsible solution.