A Shutdown to Defund Obamacare?

The GOP plans to advance a government funding bill with no money for Obamacare.

John Boehner
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Congressional Republicans are attempting to use an upcoming budget deadline as yet another opportunity to defund Obamacare, the president's signature health care reform law. Congress has two weeks to pass a funding bill, as the current round of funding expires on Sept. 30, or the government will shut down.

House Republicans intend to propose a budget bill that does not include money for Obamacare, with some members of the party stating they will not vote for any budget that maintains the health care bill's funding.  House Speaker John Boehner said in a closed meeting Wednesday that a continuing resolution bill should not include Obamacare funds, but acknowledged that the budget process is shared with the Democratically-controlled Senate:

Every member in this room is for defunding ObamaCare while letting the rest of the government continue to operate. We're going to put ObamaCare defunding directly into the CR. And then we're going to send it over to the Senate, so our conservative allies over there can continue the fight. That's where the fight is.

[ See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

President Barack Obama has repeatedly said that he has no patience for partisan squabbles over a government shutdown induced by the absence of a budget bill, and that he will not negotiate with Republicans over the debt ceiling. "I cannot remember a time when one faction of one party promises economic chaos if it can't get 100 percent of what it wants," Obama said. "That's never happened before, and that's what happening right now."

U.S. News' Carrie Wofford notes that using a budget bill to defund Obamacare isn't actually an effective way to stop the law from taking place, because of how the federal budget works:

[ See a collection of political cartoons on Obamacare.]

The problem is that fear of Obamacare may lead Congressional Republicans to defund the government at the end of the month – even though, as the Congressional Research Service has made clear and I've written here – stopping those annual appropriations will not slow Obamacare because of how the budget works. All it will do is hurt Americans who count on a functioning federal government.

What do you think? Should Republicans use threat of a government shutdown to defund Obamacare? Take the poll and comment below.

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