House GOP leaders forced to delay vote on spending measure

Eric Cantor and John Boehner

It looks like Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) will have to go back to the drawing board if they hope to pass a measure that funds the federal government.

Facing backlash from conservative members of their conference, The Hill reports that GOP leaders have temporarily delayed a vote on a Continuing Resolution for the upcoming fiscal year that would fund ObamaCare:

House GOP leaders have delayed a vote on a bill to avert a government shutdown until next week.

An aide to Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) confirmed the decision, which is designed to give GOP leaders more time to round up votes.

Leaders have been scrambling to gain 217 votes for their plan to fund the government through Dec. 15 while forcing the Senate to vote up or down on a measure to defund ObamaCare.

The plan has faced opposition from dissatisfied conservatives who argue it won’t actually lead to the defunding of the healthcare law. They are pushing to include language defunding ObamaCare in the resolution funding the government.

House Republican leadership has tried to push a cheap legislative gimmick in which they would pass a Continuing Resolution and a separate non-binding measure to defund ObamaCare. The thinking is that they this path would allow a vote to defund ObamaCare and avoid a government shutdown.

But if the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, didn’t first pass the measure defunding ObamaCare, they could still pass a clean Continuing Resolution that funds the unpopular law.

The big catch in all of this is that Congress must pass a measure to fund to the government by the end of the month, when the fiscal year ends. Failure to do so would mean a government shutdown, the prospect of which is feared by most Republicans.

Republicans in Congress driving the effort say that they the House could pass a measure funding the government, absent funding for ObamaCare, leaving the prospect of a government in the hands of President Barack Obama.

Conservative groups, including the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, have blasted Republican leadership for the move and promised to key vote “no” on any Continuing Resolution that funds ObamaCare, motivating their supporters and grassroots activists to call members’ offices. Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint has floated the idea of primary challenges against Republicans who don’t vote to defund the law.

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