With hours left to pass a continuing resolution before the government shuts down, an overwhelming majority of Republicans may in fact be open to a “clean” bill that does not attempt to delay or defund Obamacare. Byron York of the Washington Examiner reports that just 30 radical House Republicans are responsible for keeping the doomed Obamacare fight alive.
Some 20 or 30 are somewhat less committed and would be willing to compromise, except out of fear of retaliation from their party. The remaining 175, York estimates, would support a continuing resolution without any Obamacare provisions. “If Boehner offers them a “clean” continuing resolution, they will vote for it,” York writes.
Yet House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has thus far refused to bring the bill to a floor vote. Besides a few exceptions, Boehner has clung to the so-called Hastert Rule, rarely calling a floor vote unless it can pass with 217 Republican votes.
The 30 radicals driving the GOP’s brinkmanship include Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-TX). These lawmakers say they will do anything necessary to take a stand against Obamacare — even though shutting down the government will not actually delay the law’s implementation.
In the Senate, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) have alienated virtually all of their colleagues in their fruitless crusade against Obamacare. An aide to Lee proudly stated, “The minority of the minority is going to run things until our leadership gets some backbone.”
Moderate House Republicans were rumored to be planning a revolt against the latest bill, which includes a one year delay of Obamacare. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who has been outspoken against tying Obamacare to a government shutdown, said late Monday he and 25 others would try to keep the bill from coming to a floor vote, but apparently could not get the votes. By ThinkProgress’ count, 49 Republicans have come out publicly against their party’s shutdown tactics.