Will Republicans Risk a Government Shutdown to Defund ObamaCare?

By:  Michael Tennant
07/30/2013
       
Will Republicans Risk a Government Shutdown to Defund ObamaCare?

Some congressional Republicans want to pass a spending bill that defunds ObamaCare, but not everyone in the GOP is on board.

The next step in the implementation of ObamaCare — open enrollment in state insurance exchanges — begins on October 1. Coincidentally, that is the same day that the federal government will run out of operating funds unless Congress passes a continuing resolution (CR) to keep it running. And some congressional Republicans are hoping to take advantage of this confluence of events to starve the healthcare law to death, even if it means risking a government shutdown.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for instance, has introduced an amendment to the CR currently under consideration that would cut off all funding for ObamaCare.

“If we want to stop this train wreck from hitting hard-working American families, the time to do so is now,” Cruz told Fox News Channel’s Special Report. Otherwise, he argued, “it will remain with us forever.”

As of this writing, Cruz’s amendment has 29 cosponsors, including the three highest-ranking GOP senators: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas), and Senate Republican Conference chairman John Thune (S.D.).

Of course, any of these cosponsors could eventually vote for the CR even if the amendment fails. “For Cruz’s effort to have teeth,” observed FreedomWorks, “the Republican senators must all be committed to absolutely refusing to vote for any spending bill that contains funding for ObamaCare.”

To that end, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is asking his colleagues to join him in signing a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) stating that they will not support any legislation that funds ObamaCare.

“This is the last stop before ObamaCare fully kicks in on January 1 of next year for us to refuse to fund it,” Lee told Fox and Friends.

“If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of ObamaCare, we can stop it. We can stop the individual mandate from going into effect,” he said.

In fact, it’s even simpler than that.

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