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House Threat to Defund ACA Appears to be a Non-Starter

August 1st, 2013 – House Republicans are debating attaching a measure to a spending bill to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare).  To avoid a government shut down a spending bill must be approved by September 30, the end of the fiscal year.

CNN reported that in a closed-door meeting with House Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner told them to “walk them away from this,” according to a GOP source in the room.

After the meeting Boehner told reporters, “We’ve made no decisions about how we’re going to proceed” on the funding bill.  As many as 70 Republicans support defunding ObamaCare, some under pressure from ultra-conservative groups.

Other House Republicans have gone on record that threatening a government shutdown unless ObamaCare is defunded is a bad move for the party. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., warned against more “shutdown shenanigans” and several senators who initially backed the idea have since decided not to support it.

This may all be more symbolic than anything, as if the House tries to defund ObamaCare in a spending bill, the Democratic led Senate will certainly reject it.  Failing that, President Obama would veto it.  If holding the spending bill hostage, so to speak, triggers a government shutdown then the Republicans may suffer political backlash.

In spite of Republican’s best efforts, for all practical purposes, it appears at this point that Obamacare is here to stay.

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said yesterday that if the law isn’t stopped now, before it is fully implemented, it may never be. “No major entitlement, once it has been implemented, has ever been unwound,” he said. “If we don’t do it now, in all likelihood we never will.”

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