- The Washington Times - Monday, August 12, 2013

Sen. Marco Rubio is reportedly hitting the road in his home state this week to promote a last-ditch effort to “defund Obamacare” as part of the upcoming spending debate on Capitol Hill.

The Florida Republican will speak to the Rotary Club in Jacksonville before heading to the University of Florida and the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The newspaper said Mr. Rubio has a health care-related event in Panama City on Tuesday and then Pensacola on Wednesday.

Mr. Rubio and like-minded conservatives are using the August recess to promote a contentious bid to dismantle President Obama’s health care law, even if it means threatening to shut down the government, when Congress convenes to hammer out a short-term spending resolution this September.

Senior Republicans have thrown cold water on the idea, saying they want to scrap the health care law but that the threat of a shutdown could tarnish the party’s reputation.

Mr. Rubio and colleagues like Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, are undeterred.

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Mr. Cruz, who like Mr. Rubio is considered a contender for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, spoke about the effort in Iowa over the weekend. He has encouraged grassroots conservatives to rally behind the effort, arguing a wave of populist support is the only way it can succeed.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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