The House of Representatives marched closer over the weekend in the direction of a government shutdown.
It would be the first time in 17 years that the government was forced to turn out the lights because of congressional inaction.
Saturday, Republicans in the House pushed for legislation that would delay Obamacare for a year and permanently repeal the medical device tax, signaling the fight to stop the Affordable Care Act through a temporary funding bill is not over.
"I think [Democrats] will have to listen to us on this," Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., said Saturday after the announcement.
The House's latest list of demands comes after the Senate voted Friday for a simple continuing resolution, a no-frills funding bill that would have kept the government running through Nov. 15.
This is the second time in two weeks that House Republicans have tried to use required legislation to fund the government to effectively block the October 1 implementation of the key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Last Friday, the House sent the Senate a bill that would have only funded the government if the Senate agreed to permanently defund the president's signature legislative achievement.
Many conservative Republicans were elated House Speaker John Boehner was going to continue fighting against health care, even as the threat of a government shutdown draws near.
"The complete defunding of Obamacare forever, that was a hail Mary on the first down," says Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas. "This is second down and we are going to do a running play, get a first down and move forward."
The sponsor of the amendment that would push the bill back to the Senate, Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., said he had never seen his GOP caucus more united. During the meeting Saturday morning where House leaders announced the plan, Graves said members cheered and congratulated one another. One member, Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, shouted "Like 9/11, let's roll."
Saturday, while Republicans inched closer to a shutdown, president Barack Obama played golf.
"He has been pretty removed," Graves said of the president. "He hurls verbal attacks from a distance it seems. He is not a dictator. He cannot tell us what we are to do. There is a legislative process and it will play out."
The White House as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., have already said any House legislation that seeks to defund, delay or remove any provision of Obamacare does not stand a chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
"Today's vote by House Republicans is pointless," Reid said in a released statement. "As I have said repeatedly, the Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government funding bill or the debt ceiling."
That warning led some Republicans to be more uncomfortable with House leadership's tactics.
"This is late. I am still hopeful that we will be able to get to a point where the government will not shut down, and we will be able to resolve this," says Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. "I don't like placing my fate or the country's fate in the hands of the U.S. Senate. "
Various recent polls have indicated voters will blame both parties if the government shuts down but that Republicans would come out worse.
Dent said that if the Senate sent a clean funding bill back to the House, he would vote for it.
Democrats in the House, meanwhile, were visibly frustrated, taking to the floor to admonish their GOP colleagues for inching closer to a shutdown, which will take effect Oct. 1 if the Senate and House don't negotiate a compromise.
"There is the kind of resignation you have when you are watching a slow moving train wreck in process," says Rep. Adam Schiff, R-Calif. "We are watching the House GOP conference with surprising complacency head towards another shock to the economy."
Corrected on : Correction 09/29/13: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the chamber a bill was going to.