Gut check time for Senate GOP

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Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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GUT CHECK TIME FOR SENATE GOP -Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needs the help of six Republicans to return fire against the GOP-controlled House in the battle over ObamaCare. Who will help Reid get to the 60 votes he needs to strip out an ObamaCare defunding measure added to a House bill that would head off a government shutdown on Oct. 1? Reid is expected sometime today to start the clock on a “cloture” vote midweek. Plenty of Republicans have complained about the measure, but with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, saying “A vote for cloture is a vote for ObamaCare” in his appearance on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace,” who’s ready to put their votes where their mouths are?     

[A WaPo/ABC News poll shows only 27 percent of respondents want Congress to shut down the government rather than fund ObamaCare.]

Reid’s reliables - Reid can take some GOP votes to the bank, like Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who was re-elected without her party’s support in 2010. “Maverick” moderates who have spoken out against the measure like Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will also be high on Reid’s target list, as will retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R- Ga. What about Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.? He has said the move won’t work, even though he applauds its objective. That didn’t stop several House members, like Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., from doing the same.

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