Republican Senators are threatening to force a government shutdown unless Democrats agree to give up on the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has gotten 14 of his colleagues to sign a letter pledging to block a bill to fund government operations unless Obamacare is defunded, according to conservative activist and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson.
The list includes such prominent members as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a possible 2016 presidential candidate, and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX):
The law passed over three years ago, was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court over a year ago, and has survived almost 40 separate House votes to repeal it.
At the end of September, government funding under a March continuing resolution will run out. Without appropriations bills or another continuing resolution, the government would be forced to close.
A shutdown would likely cause 800,000 federal employees around the country to be furloughed, disrupting public services even further than sequestration cuts already have. A shutdown would also freeze many government programs like small business lending and environmental assessments for construction projects, exacerbating sequestration’s damage to the economy.