House Republican leaders are offering up an alternative strategy to defund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act while minimizing the threat of a government shutdown.
The new proposal — devised by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va. — would put the decision to defund PPACA back on the Senate.
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It “would place centrist Democratic senators in a tough position on Obamacare but would not tie the extension of basic government funds to the law’s demise as desired by conservative activists,” The Hill, a congressional news website, reported.
The plan was expected to be presented to GOP lawmakers at the House Republican Conference meeting Tuesday.
Under the plan, the House would vote on a continuing resolution that maintains federal spending at sequester levels, The Hill reported.
The measure, The Hill said, would include a separate concurrent resolution defunding the health care law, and under the rule governing debate, the Senate would have to vote up-or-down on the health care resolution before it could vote on the spending bill.
Assuming the Senate vote to defund ObamaCare failed, the continuing resolution could then be sent to the president without returning to the House.
The plan is different from previous attempts by some Republicans to block any government funding resolution that includes money for PPACA. Those attempts were criticized by some major Republican players as being a reckless move that that could result in voters holding the GOP responsible for the government shutting down.
But Cantor’s new plan has already garnered some skepticism.
Chris Chocola, president of Club for Growth, said that “trying to fool Republicans into voting to fund Obamacare is even worse than offering a bill that deliberately funds it. I hope this proposal is nothing more than a bad joke and is quickly discarded.”
Supporters, though, say the plan rightly puts the responsibility and funding for PPACA back on Senate Democrats.