Posted: Aug 15, 2013 3:11 PM by AP
Updated: Oct 8, 2013 4:42 PM
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - U.S. Sen. David Vitter told a packed town hall meeting Thursday that he will support a federal government shutdown this fall rather than agree to pay for President Barack Obama's health care law.
"I'm going to fight like the dickens. I'm going to vote to repeal, to delay, to defund," the Republican senator said.
Vitter said he won't vote for legislation to continue paying for U.S. government services beyond Sept. 30 if it contains money for the health care law's implementation.
Without passage of that legislation, the federal government could be temporarily shuttered.
The issue divides Republicans, some of whom say a shutdown could damage GOP candidates at the polls and create a backlash from the American public.
But participants in Vitter's town hall in Baton Rouge urged the GOP senator to stymie the Affordable Care Act in any way possible, saying a government shutdown would force Democrats to negotiate. At one point, several audience members shouted in unison, "Shut it down," loudly cheering the idea.
"Shut down the government! Shut down the government! Shut down the government!" Robert Ordeneaux, 65, a retired Exxon employee, yelled from his seat to applause.
Ordeneaux, along with several others in the audience said they'd be willing to temporarily lose their government benefits through Social Security, Medicare and other programs listed by Vitter that would stop issuing checks in a shutdown.
"As long as nobody in this room is going to call me about not getting their check, I'm all for it," Vitter told the crowd, which overfilled a local library meeting room.
The senator took questions from the group for more than an hour, many of which focused on the Democrats' health care law and ways to keep the insurance changes and coverage increases from being rolled out across the country.Vitter Announces Upcoming Town Hall Meetings
Wednesday August 28, 2013
St. Landry Parish Town Hall Meeting
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. CT
Eunice City Hall
300 South 2nd Street
Jefferson Davis Parish Town Hall Meeting
12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. CT
Jennings Conference Center
210 South State Street