Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is the latest Republican to jump on the opportunity to use the Internal Revenue Service scandal to push for the repeal of President Obama’s health care law.
“Now as far as the IRS’s role in Obamacare, well that’s chilling,” Rubio said in a video posted to YouTube today. “Because if you notice, the IRS is deeply involved in implementing Obamacare. They’re on the front lines of it.”
The comments were ostensibly prompted by a question from a constituent, but it echoes similar comments from GOP lawmakers who view the IRS’s latest troubles as an opportune moment to revisit the health care law.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., today released a new online ad linking Obama to the IRS scandal. That ad comes after he questioned the agency’s role in implementing the health care bill on the Senate floor last week.
And conservative groups already say they plan to make the IRS scandal the focus of their 2014 attacks on Democrats and the health care law.
But Rubio has also been struggling to defend himself against attacks from his fellow conservatives who oppose his push to pass a comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate. The effort to push the bill through the Senate is taking a toll on his conservative credentials, and this video may be an attempt to reverse some of that damage.
Rubio says that his top priority – presumptively after Congress finishes work on his immigration bill – will be repealing Obamacare.
“You can’t just move the IRS out of the way because if the IRS isn’t doing it, then either some new government bureaucracy will have to be created or some existing government bureaucracy will go ahead and implement this,” Rubio said. “So the only answer to this is to repeal Obamacare. In the months to come, I’m really going to focus on the issue of repealing Obamacare.”
Meanwhile, Obama has said that he would veto any bill that does that.