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Koch brothers slam Harry Reid's claim they are out to kill Obamacare

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Obamacare,Senate,Democratic Party,Harry Reid,Health Care,Koch brothers

Stung by repeated Democratic claims, especially from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that they are funding the effort to kill Obamacare in the budget standoff, Koch Industries on Wednesday sent a letter to senators claiming that Reid and others are “misrepresenting and distorting” their position.

“A great deal of what you read and hear about Koch Industries is erroneous or misleading,” wrote Philip Ellender, president of Koch Industries Public Sector, part of the firm run by conservative donors David and Charles Koch, the duo Democrats often cite when decrying rich conservatives.

“Indeed, there was false information presented about Koch on the Senate floor by Senate Majority Leader Reid, who claimed yesterday that Koch was behind the shutdown of the federal government in an effort to defund the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Because several of you have asked what our position is on this issue, we want to set the record straight and correct this information,” said the letter provided to Secrets.

It said that the firm opposes the debt and believes Obamacare will hurt health care, but that it “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.”

They have, however, funded those behind that tactic, including Heritage Action Fund. The head of that group today disclosed a $500,000 donation from Koch.

Ellender said that the firm is more focused on fighting debt and federal overspending.

“Koch has focused on educating the public about reducing our nation’s debt and controlling runaway government spending. We believe that Congress should, at a minimum, keep to sequester-level spending guidelines, and develop a plan for more significant and widespread spending reductions in the future. We also believe that Congress should work to rein in rampant government spending so that it becomes no longer necessary to continually raise the debt ceiling,” he wrote.

“Congress should focus on these efforts: balancing the budget, tightening and cutting government spending, curbing cronyism, and eliminating market-distorting subsidies and mandates. We are hopeful this sets the record straight and that in the future Senator Reid and other politicians will stop misrepresenting and distorting Koch’s positions,” Ellender concluded.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.