Republicans in the House of Representatives won't give up on a plan to delay the Affordable Care Act even if their persistence results in a government shutdown.
"The 2010 election was all about Obamacare. My class members came to fight with every tool that we had," says Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C. "So if we can delay, defund, anything we can do with Obamacare, that is what we came for."
Monday, Republicans emerged from a two-hour GOP caucus meeting with a new plan to keep the government funded through December. House Speaker John Boehner unveiled a plan that would tie the continuing resolution, a funding bill, to a one-year delay of the individual mandate, a key provision of Obamacare requiring individuals to purchase health insurance or face a penalty.
Republicans also are asking the Senate to consider a measure that would take away federal employee health care subsidies as part of the deal.
Many Republicans emerged from the meeting enthusiastic about the speaker's plan, even surprised by the bold tack Boehner was taking just hours before a government shutdown would occur.
"I am very proud of our leadership right now," says Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, a member of the caucus who has had spats with leaders in the past over the debt ceiling and other budgetary issues.
This is the third plan Republicans have introduced in recent days to keep the government open, while simultaneously chipping away at Obamacare. Each time the Senate has sent a clean CR, without any legislative amendments, back to the House.
"I think it is indefensible to say that Congress is going to have some special deal for itself while we make the American people individually join a system...I think it is a pretty principled stand. I think it is very politically effective," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said of the House's most recent offer that would take away health care subsidies for Hill staffers and lawmakers. "We have tried to be reasonable, we have offered them multiple compromise positions. Let's see if they want to vote against this."
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday the plan was another non-starter for the Senate.
"Nothing's changed. They try to send us something back, they're spinning their wheels," Reid said during a press conference Monday. "We are not going to change Obamacare. They want to make changes in Obamacare. Wait until after the debt ceiling. What until they're willing to sit down and do a budget for us, with us, and approach this in a reasonable manner."
House Republicans don't trust Democrats, however, to negotiate after the fiscal fights. They are optimistic that, even as time flies by, Americans are behind them in their fight even if it means a government shutdown.
"I don't think the American people will blame us," says Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla. "They really don't care who broke it, they just want it fixed."
Republicans have repeatedly argued the government gridlock over the weekend wouldn't lead to a shutdown, but many Republican members seemed resigned to the reality that it would at least take hold for a short term. No one could say how long, however.
"If I was any good at predicting, I would be at the horse track," Yoho said.