80 House members: Government shutdown better than 'Obamacare'

Tom Price, Mark Meadows, Mike Kelly
J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., center, flanked by Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., left, and Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, speaks about his bill, the "Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act," which the House passed today and targets President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The bill aims to prevent the Internal Revenue Service from implementing any part of the health care law. It is the 40th time the Republican-controlled House has tried to block the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a third of House Republicans urged their leader Thursday to trigger a government shutdown rather than fund the implementation of the health care overhaul they call "Obamacare."

A letter from 80 Republicans asked Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to resist any spending bills that would accommodate the new health care law, which is nearing a critical stage of signing up millions of Americans for health coverage.

Because it's virtually certain that President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate would reject such demands, leaders of both parties say the standoff likely would result in a partial shutdown of the federal government, similar to those that occurred in 1995 and 1996.

The letter is mixed news for Boehner and other GOP leaders who view a government shutdown as politically unwise.

With 80 of the House's 233 Republicans signing the letter, a solid majority of 153 has refrained from trying to limit Boehner's options. That presumably would allow the speaker to push a bipartisan bill that funds the health law and is supported by a "majority of the majority" of his fellow Republicans, which Boehner says is essential.

However, he would need more than 60 Democratic votes to pass such a bill. That would give Democrats a major voice in its details.

The federal 2013 fiscal year ends Sept. 30. New money must be appropriated by then to avoid a shutdown of countless government offices and agencies.

Voters chiefly blamed congressional Republicans for the mid-1990s shutdowns, and the fallout boosted Democratic President Bill Clinton. Ever since, many establishment Republicans have urged the party to avoid using shutdown threats as a bargaining tool.

But a new generation of tea party-backed conservatives rejects the advice. They say "Obamacare" — officially the Affordable Care Act — is so unpopular and unworkable that it justifies extraordinary tactics to block it.

A possible solution to the budget impasse, often used in past years, would involve a "continuing resolution" to keep funding the government at current levels. Many top Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, say it's impossible to carve out money for "Obamacare" in any appropriations measure.

The House letter was authored by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. It urges Boehner "to affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of Obamacare in any relevant appropriations bill," including "any continuing appropriations bill."

At least a dozen Senate Republicans have signed a similar letter.

In recent years, Democrats and Republicans in Congress repeatedly have failed to reach major compromises on spending. A string of secret negotiations with the White House, a bipartisan "super committee" and various threats of economic calamity have all proved fruitless.

The impasses led this year to automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, which have hampered some federal agencies and helped shrink the deficit.

Some House Republicans want deeper cuts still. But others revolted this summer when popular programs were targeted.

Senate Democrats want to replace the sequester cuts with a more generous spending plan, but House Republicans vow to block it.

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JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


Reps from messed up, out of control baggers runned states, Redneck imbeciles, pure and simple....
same for all dems, other parties and repub, all will need and use ACA that is here to stay...move on....



For most of these guys shutting down the government IS the goal. Obamacare is the latest excuse. Before that it was the debt, the deficit, social security, medicare, the post office, the ATF, the IRS and Benghazi. If they don't succeed in shutting down the government they will go for a round of impeachment. They said the only good government is one that is drowned in a bathtub. What they don't tell you is the truth about what your life will look like afterwards.

Jack Tetreault's picture

Government Abuse

The ACA is clearly a bad law. So bad that POTUS is unilaterally breaking the law to postpone parts of it and to give out waivers to groups in order to avoid the very bad parts of the law. I believe that POTUS is breaking the law he swore to uphold. The law is the law until it is repealed or changed by due process. What do we call people who break the law and what do we do about it? We do not see or hear a peep from most of the media. WHY?

All this talk about a Government shut down. What we should be taking and acting on is the ACA law. If it is bad law; repeal it not break it. What kind of a country are we that we allow the President to break the law? Shutting down the government should not be used as a negotiating tool. We the people suffer for it.

Where is Right an Honor? Let's do it right instead of the way we are doing it now. What worries me is that there may not be enough good people left to fix our broken country. ROME WENT DOWN FOR THE SAME ACTIONS we see occurring here in our Country.

Claudette Therriault's picture

I'm blown away by the

I'm blown away by the unwillingness of the GOP to work things out with Dems! What a bunch of idiots!

Bob White's picture

I'm blown away that you have

I'm blown away that you have a Democrat President and the majority and you people cant get anything done. That tells me someone (president) isn't doing his job and bring people together. Shameful maybe he should stop campaigning I know that is the only thing he is good at.

Why are you blown away with

Why are you blown away with Republicans trying to stop the start of Socialized Medicine?
I agree with Henry Fords quote: “Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him had better take a closer look at the American Indian.”

Claudette Therriault's picture

Because they are too dead set

Because they are too dead set on killing Obama care rather than give it a chance to work. Boener and friends don't know shit about how it works. They don't like our president and they will buck him every step of the way no matter what they are voting on. And, oh yes, Obama Care is NOT socialized medicine.

I didn't realize that AARP and Anthem were owned by the feds.

Bob White's picture

Go ahead shut it down maybe

Go ahead shut it down maybe they will fix the problem instead of kicking the can down the road. Someone ought to tell our great leader that he can stop campaigning and maybe get back to work and try to bring the country back and stop trying to divide it. One other thing like you(or me) even have a clue what Obama care is about as if every Republican don't but Claudette Therriault in Lewiston Maine has all the answer gee why aren't you running the country.

Claudette Therriault's picture

If I was younger, I'd run for

If I was younger, I'd run for office...

Bob White's picture

Thank God your not this

Thank God your not this country is screwed up enough with your type.

Claudette Therriault's picture

I give up. You are mindless

I give up. You are mindless robots controlled by the Tea Party and FOX news. Have fun in your own world. The only thing that will ever convince you is if you find yourself in a situation where you need help from Obama Care or some social service agency. Good luck!



JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Thirteen easy pages for simpletons like you who need assistance

All you need to know, for those that are clueless...this comes from Kaiser and is one of the many Administrators like Blue Cross and BS and Health Partners and several others that was sitting on the advisory board when AHCA was all put together...

Ask them and they will ALL tell you that Affordable Health Care is here to stay. THEY wrote it with the assistance of top Executives of the industry including the Pharmaceutical companies also.

Less babble and more fact reading and learning will assist you into preventing nonsensical rants of incoherent condemnation of others.


Bob White's picture

It may or may not be here to

It may or may not be here to stay but I will say this there may be some dumb Republicans in Washington (as you would put it) that doesn't want to see Obama Care stay however the majority of the American people agree with those dummies.


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