With 60 Republicans already pushing Boehner, above, to defund Obamacare in any spending bill, the speaker may not be able to cobble together a House majority on a bill that Obama would sign without Democratic votes.
The effort by conservatives in the House and Senate to threaten a government shutdown over Obamacare could force Speaker John A. Boehner into the arms of House Democrats.
With 60 Republicans already pushing the Ohio Republican to defund Obamacare in any spending bill, the speaker may not be able to cobble together a House majority on a bill that President Barack Obama would sign without Democratic votes. And he’s not likely to get those votes for free.
A dozen Republican senators led by Mike Lee, R-Utah, already signed a letter vowing to vote against any continuing resolution that funds Obamacare. And Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana — who helped torpedo GOP leaders’ first attempt at a farm bill — became the first House Republican last week to make the same absolutist pledge.
“I’m not going to vote for a continuing resolution that funds Obamacare,” Stutzman said in a July 25 release. “It makes no sense to spend another dime on a failed law that the president has already delayed.”
But senior aides from both sides of the aisle say the threat would surely backfire on Republicans if they carry it out. For one thing, most of Obama’s new health care program is mandatory spending that is not affected by appropriations bills, so it would continue to receive funding in any event.
“Even if you shut down the government, Obamacare will continue to be funded, and all you will have accomplished in that scenario is a government shutdown,” a senior Republican appropriations aide said.
Such thinking generally tracks with comments made last week by several prominent Republicans, including Rep. Tom Cole and Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, among others.
They have variously warned that Obama will never sign a law defunding his administration’s signature piece of legislation, that Boehner will have to go to Democrats — hat in hand — to pass a CR if he can’t find the votes in his own conference and that a shutdown would be blamed on Republicans and cost them dearly politically.
On Dec. 19, 2013, the Architect of the Capitol gave a special media tour of the infrastructure surrounding the Rotunda, and the interior and exterior of the Capitol Dome. This past fall, the AOC began a multi-year restoration project that will repair the more than 1,000 cracks and deficiencies from weather and age, and restore the Dome to its former splendor.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.