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POLITICS: PennAve

Joe Manchin, Tom Coburn express doubts over Obamacare shutdown strategy

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Politics,Congress,Obamacare,CBS,Health Care,PennAve,Tim Mak,Tom Coburn,Budgets and Deficits,Government Shutdown,Joe Manchin

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., both expressed frustration Sunday with the tactics heralded by conservative senators hoping to provoke an Obamacare showdown on the bill to fund government.

"If we can do this, we should do it. But we can't," Coburn said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Tactics and strategy ought to based on what the real world is. And we do not have the power to do this."

"Let's fix things," Manchin added. "Since I have been here, not one of my colleagues has come and said, 'Joe, here is a better way to do it and fix this part' ... they just said, 'OK, vote up or down.' "

Manchin and Coburn were pushing back on the efforts of a small band of conservatives led by Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who demand that government funding be contingent on defunding the Affordable Care Act.

"We don't have the ability ... to put a total stop and defund Obamacare," Coburn said, pointing out that Republicans only had control of the House, not the Senate nor the White House. "It would be nice if we did. I would be in that fight."

The Oklahoma Republican also doesn't think that a government shutdown was likely — or wise.

"We actually have a crisis of confidence in our country right now ... We have got trillions of dollars sitting on the sideline that aren't being invested," he said. "We are not going to shut the government down ... it takes away from the real focus."

Manchin believes both parties have a responsibility to find a solution to the problem.

"I've been there for three years, and nothing's really changed. The blame can be on everybody, both Democrats and Republicans," he said.

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