Topics: Obamacare

Morning Examiner: House leadership's latest plan to avoid shutdown

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House Republican leadership will attempt to sell House Republicans on a new plan to avoid a government shutdown Wednesday, and it includes a partial defunding of Obamacare.

Last week, House leadership unveiled a short-term continuing resolution that would have kept the entire federal government funded, including Obamacare, through Dec. 15. That plan failed to win enough votes in the Republican caucus to guarantee victory, so a planned Thursday vote was cancelled.

Let's Try This Again

Now House GOP leadership is back with another short-term continuing resolution, this time funding everything but Obamacare through Dec. 15. This is not a full embrace of the defund-Obamacare supporters who want to fight with President Obama over a full-year CR that zeroes-out Obamacare. A separate bill introduced by Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ga., would have done exactly that.

'Repeal and replace' is back

Also Wednesday, conservatives will unveil new legislation to "repeal and replace" Obamacare.This is not a leadership plan, but instead is coming from the much more conservative Republican Study Committee. RSC Chairman Steve Scalise, R-La., will announce the plan, along with Tennessee Reps. Phil Roe and Marsha Blackburn.

“We've obviously fought very hard to repeal the bill, to unravel different pieces on it that are falling on its own weight, anyway,” Scalise told Roll Call. “But we've also been working to put together a true alternative that would lower market costs and fix some real problems that existed before Obamacare that are made worse with it.” No details of the plan have been released yet.

What's next?

If the House GOP leadership is able to sell its caucus on the new short-term defund-Obamacare CR, the entire House could vote on it as early as Thursday.

After that, the bill would quickly be sent to the Senate, where House leaders areanxious to see what Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, can do with it.

If Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., sits on the bill, or brings it up for a vote to kill it, look for House Republicans to run out the clock before relaunching their original CR bill which funded everything, including Obamacare, through Dec. 15.

Either way, the CR-shutdown fight is still shaping up to be a minor undercard bout compared to the later mid-October fight over the debt limit.

Public backing for shutdown growing?

All of this happens as evidence appears of a major shift in public opinion. The latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds 51 percent of those questioned favor a government shutdown if Obamacare is not at least partially defunded.

The survey contacted 1,000 likely voters over the weekend and has a 3 percent margin of error, so it may suggest the congressional GOP leaders' temerity on defunding Obamacare represents a mis-reading of public opinion.

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