A large group of 43 conservative Republicans in the House Thursday endorsed a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government operating for a year but delay funding for Obamacare for the same period of time.
The measure proposed by Georgia Rep. Tom Graves rejects the plan put forward two days ago by the GOP leadership aimed at averting a government shutdown on Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year, while forcing the Senate to at least vote on defunding Obamacare.
According to the Hill
, that plan would have forced the Senate to vote first on Obamacare and then vote on a separate stopgap spending measure, known as continuing resolution, to keep the government open.
But GOP tea party members described that plan put forward by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a "gimmick" that would never achieve the ultimate goal set by conservatives of eliminating funding for the 2010 healthcare reform law.
The support within the GOP for Grave's proposal indicates the difficulty that House Speaker John Boehner will have getting any spending bill through the House and over to the Senate to avert a government shutdown. The Hill reports that he can afford to lose only 16 Republicans on any measure that might be opposed by Democrats.
Boehner acknowledged the difficulty Thursday, but said there are still "a million options" being discussed to keep the government running.
Graves' proposal, which would actually cut government spending below current sequester levels to $967 billion, drew praise from Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee, who has been behind a push in the Senate to block all government spending if Democrats refuse to eliminate funding for Obamacare. He urged the House to pass Grave's plan "immediately and send it to the Senate."
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