GOP leaders in the House have delayed a vote on a new government funding bill after conservatives demanded that any deal include a provision to strip funding for Obamacare.
The leadership had originally scheduled a vote for Thursday on a continuing resolution, or CR, to fund the government at current levels through December 15 coupled with a resolution to defund the Affordable Care Act.
But conservatives are opposed to the complicated structure of the bill which would give lawmakers a single vote to pass the short-term financing measure, with a separate vote on the healthcare law, reports The New York Times
, noting that the healthcare resolution would then move to the Democrat-controlled Senate, where it would almost certainly be voted down.
Instead they want the two resolutions to be combined into a single bill. "There's a lack of trust between the conference and the leadership on this issue," Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky told the Wall Street Journal
, saying that between 50 to 80 lawmakers are prepared to oppose the bill in its current form.
Rep. Steve Scalies, R-La., chairman of a powerful group of House conservatives said he wants a yearlong delay in the healthcare law tied to the government spending bill, telling the Journal, "We're not going to stop fighting until we've achieved a full delay in Obamacare."
The GOP standoff comes as Congress is racing against a September 30 deadline to pass new funding legislation and avoid a government shutdown on October 1 as the new fiscal year begins.
October 1 is also when the public will be able to start shopping for healthcare coverage on the new insurance exchanges established under Obamacare.
A new CNN-ORC International poll
released on Wednesday found that one-third of Americans would blame the White House for a government shutdown, while 51 percent would blame Republicans. But it also showed that support for Obamacare is falling, with 39 percent of Americans supporting most of it, down sharply from 51 percent at the beginning of the year.
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