House Speaker John Boehner told Republicans Thursday night he would seek a short-term spending measure to keep the government open once the fiscal year begins Oct. 1--but many conservatives want defunding the 2010 health care law to be included.
Republicans are split over whether to stop the funding and risk a shutdown. No leadership decisions have been made about the funding.
Conservatives are watching closely. "Republicans in Congress promised to do everything possible to stop Obamacare and if they chicken out on this one last chance to block it, millions of conservatives will remember how they were betrayed by politicians who said one thing at home but did the opposite in Washington," said Brent Bozell, chairman of ForAmerica, a conservative group.
"If we are going stop Obamacare it must be done now and the only option left is to pass a Continuing Resolution that funds everything but Obamacare."
According to someone familiar with the Boehner call, here's a summary of what was said:
"The president is desperate to get rid of the sequester. . .so desperate that he says he'll shut down the government if Congress follows the law and funds the government at the levels his sequester mandates. The president's threat to shut down the government if we implement his sequester is not a defensible position. The American people won't stand for it, and we're not going to be swayed by it. When we return, our intent is to move quickly on a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that keeps the government running and maintains current sequester spending levels.
"Our message will remain clear: until the president agrees to better cuts and reforms that help grow the economy and put us on path to a balanced budget, his sequester – the sequester he himself proposed, insisted on, and signed into law – stays in place.”
“We will also continue to implement the plan to stop Obamacare that I outlined last month. The delays the administration has been forced to implement in the health care law have given us a golden opportunity to talk about fairness: ‘If big business gets relief from the president's health care law, families and small businesses should, too.’
"This message strikes a chord with Americans. When people hear it, it resonates. The president has already signed seven bills delaying or repealing parts of his health care law. We're going to keep the pressure on the president and Senate to act on the delay bills that passed the House in July with significant bipartisan support. You may have seen Shelly Moore Capito do this in Saturday's GOP weekly address. We're going to keep holding votes that chip away at the legislative coalition the president is using to force Obamacare on the nation.”