Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.) criticized congressional Democrats for being unwilling to delay the individual Obamacare mandate Tuesday on Morning Joe, saying it was unfair for big businesses and members of Congress to receive special privileges.
"I think it's indefensible, for instance, to give Congress something that the average American in an exchange simply can't get," Cole said. "Why in the world should members of Congress get that?"
TOM COLE: Look, the Speaker is trying to negotiate. He's put a succession of offers on the table, which I think show a lot of flexibility. The one last night is something Democrats ought to be able to accept. The first element is no special treatment for politicians, which they're getting right now and probably getting illegally, so we should just end that. Second, if we're going to let off big business, if we're going to let off big labor, let's not mandate that individual Americans participate in this for one year. Instead, we're going to force individual Americans to do something we're not asking big organizations to do. That's just simply wrong when the program is clearly not ready for prime time.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Is there a vehicle to do all that in?
COLE: What the Speaker asked for last night is let's go to conference. I think that's the right thing to do. Sit down and try to resolve this. We might not get exactly what we want. I'm sure we wouldn't, but we would certainly, I think, move in the right direction. I think it's indefensible, for instance, to give Congress something that the average American in an exchange simply can't get. Why in the world should members of Congress get that?