Given the timing, Rubio and his peers say the stakes couldn’t be higher.
“If this issue isn’t important enough for us to draw a line in the sand on, what issue is?” the Florida Republican said on the Senate floor Thursday.
Rubio’s impassioned speech came as he seeks to repair his reputation with the Tea Party after helping to shepherd a controversial immigration overhaul through the Senate.
That bill has been widely criticized by conservatives, and Rubio needs their blessing if he’s going to win a 2016 GOP presidential primary.
Lucky for him, conservative media and pressure groups are expressing strong support for the shutdown threat.
This week, talk show host Mark Levin called Burr a “jerk” and a “buffoon” for criticizing the threat, while influential conservative site RedState urged readers to pressure Burr, Blunt and others to defund ObamaCare at any cost.