House GOP wants to tie Obamacare to debt ceiling debate

Updated
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor arrives for a closed intelligence briefing for members of Congress on Syria at the U.S. Capitol September 9, 2013 in...
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor arrives for a closed intelligence briefing for members of Congress on Syria at the U.S. Capitol September 9, 2013 in...
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Back from their month-long recess for exactly one day, the House GOP leadership unveiled Tuesday a new debt ceiling strategy.

The plan, detailed to Republican lawmakers by Congressman Eric Cantor, involves an agreement to raise the nation’s debt limit–on the condition that Obamacare gets delayed for one year.

According to the National Review, the latest GOP strategy forces the Senate to vote to defund President Obama’s signature health care law–and when that fails–pass continuing resolution to fund the government. Several Congressional Republicans seemed less than enthusiastic.

Rep. Mike Lee called it a plan “to facilitate the passage of a CR in a way that allows people to claim they’re defunding Obamacare without actually doing so.” Lee, who has banged the “defund Obamacare” drum all summer, is not alone in his opposition.

Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia called it “another legislative trick,” while Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas said the GOP leadership “know[s] this strategy will not defund Obamacare.”

Chris Chocola, the President of the Club for Growth, asked, “Are these news reports from The Onion? Or are they real?”

Michael A. Needham, the CEO of Heritage Action, also released a statement opposing the plan:

This is a legislative gimmick designed to provide political cover to those who are unwilling to fight to defund Obamacare. Any constituent who looks at this vote will know it is intended to look like a vote to defund Obamacare while failing to do so. The American people are tired of gimmicks, and it is our expectation that no conservative in Congress will try to deceive their constituents by going along with this cynical ploy.

Still, some Republicans in the House support the leadership’s propsoal. Congressman Mike Simpson said, ”I think they’ve come up with a good plan. It doesn’t shut down the government, and it also demonstrates for the 40th time we don’t like Obamacare.” And, for what it’s worth, House Speaker John Boehner has shown his support.  “Our goal here is not to shut down the government. Our goal is to cut spending and to stop Obamacare. “

That goal has been the focus of the Republican Party since the Affordable Care Act was debated back in 2009. Despite 40 failed attempts to repeal it, a Supreme Court decision upholding it, a summer of anti-Obamacare rallies,  and a crisis in Syria, congressional Republicans have yet to give in.

House GOP wants to tie Obamacare to debt ceiling debate

Updated