Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican deputy majority whip, was confronted at a town hall Tuesday for his decision to not support a vote that aimed to shut down the federal government unless ObamaCare is defunded. Cole spoke with constituents for three hours at Moore Public Library in Moore, Oklahoma.
"I was a little concerned to find out your were not in support of making the continuing resolution contingent on removing what optional spending you can remove on ObamaCare. I feel very strongly, I think others do," the constituent questioning Cole said to applause from the audience. "This is not theatrical for me because two weeks today my husband and I paid, in cash, for our son to have major surgery, for our procedure. But you know what? That's a price I paid for the liberty of my children."
"Even if you do not believe in your heart, number one, that it will pass, or number two, it's appropriate. You need to represent us," the questioner added.
Cole said he "absolutely" wanted to defund ObamaCare, adding he "voted 40 times to repeal it," but said the consequences of a government shutdown strategy would be disastrous to audible boos.
"Let me talk to you a little bit about the consequences of what a complete government shutdown is," Cole said. "Number one, that means your troops in the field don't get paid." The crowd responded with loud boos.
Cole went on to describe government workers who would be out of work in his district and added "politically that is an extraordinary dangerous thing to do, and I don't think it would work."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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