House Republican leaders are stuck with a tough choice after Senate Democrats succeeded in passing a “clean” budget bill which, contrary to GOP wishes, includes full funding for ObamaCare.
The Senate, capping a dramatic week on Capitol Hill, approved the bill on Friday, after Democrats stripped a Republican-backed provision to defund the health law. The final vote was 54-44.
The bill now returns to the House, and is seen by some lawmakers as a sort of legislative hot potato. If the two chambers cannot agree on a final bill by midnight on Monday, then the government will shut down. Neither side wants to be left holding the bill if that happens.
House Speaker John Boehner could, theoretically, just call up the Senate-passed bill and rely on mostly Democrats to pass it. But House Republicans are under heavy pressure, now, from fellow conservatives to stand by their demand that ObamaCare be defunded, or least delayed.
“I don’t know of anyone who wants to shut down the government. The only thing we want to shut down is ObamaCare,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said.