Rep. Paul Ryan is predicting that Congress would avoid a government shutdown, but emphasized that House Republicans remain committed to using the upcoming fiscal negotiations to block the start of Obamacare.
The Wisconsin Republican over the weekend signaled that the GOP-controlled House would use negotiations over the continuing resolution budget bill and the debt ceiling to push President Obama to approve a full “delay” of the Affordable Care Act. However, conservative activists are continuing demand that Ryan and his fellow House Republicans ignore any budget bill that does not fully defund Obamacare, even if that strategy forces an Oct. 1 government shutdown.
House Republicans remain divided over how to block Obamacare. A bloc of conservatives insists that all funding for Obamacare be stripped from the temporary budget measure needed to keep the federal government open beyond Sept. 30 even if that means forcing a government shutdown. But Ryan and GOP leaders warn that defunding is unlikely to survive opposition from a Democratic Senate and White House and are instead urging lawmakers to negotiate a delay of Obamacare in exchange for approving the budget bill.
Ryan, the House Budget Chairman and a key player in talks over the continuing resolution and debt ceiling, said there is a “misconception” that stripping funds for the Affordable Care Act would actually derail Obamacare, as conservative advocacy groups claim.
“In many ways it’s telling people what they want to hear. It’s making a promise that really isn’t achievable,” Ryan said. “To defund or delay Obamacare, Obama himself has to sign that bill into law. And so what we’re trying to do is figure out the best way of maximizing our leverage to get the president to delay his health-care law.”