Republicans introduce plan to stop Obamacare without shutting down government

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Republican Rep. Tom Graves and 42 House cosponsors introduced a budget plan Thursday to defund Obamacare without forcing a government shutdown, placing pressure solely on the shoulders of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Graves’ Security, Stability, and Fairness Resolution is a continuing resolution budget bill that offers a fiscal year 2014 budget that keeps the government open but does not fund Obamacare. The Obama administration has already delayed the law’s employer mandate until 2015, after the 2014 midterm elections.

The “Defund Obamacare” campaign spearheaded by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has repeatedly been accused of seeking a government shutdown if Cruz’s demands are not met. Graves’ legislation relieves Cruz of that burden and puts Harry Reid in the crosshairs.

“As it relates to Obamacare, it would accomplish exactly what Sen. Cruz has advocated from the beginning — to fund the government without funding Obamacare. It is an important step forward, we hope the House quickly acts to stop Obamacare,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told The Daily Caller, noting that Cruz is still reviewing the legislation in its entirety.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who is one of the main ringleaders of Ted Cruz’s “Defund Obamacare” campaign, supports Graves’ plan, saying, “The House should pass this legislation immediately and send it to the Senate.”

“This is exactly what we’ve been talking about from day one,” Lee’s communications director Brian Phillips told TheDC. “There has never, ever, ever been any proposal from Ted Cruz or Mike Lee to shut down the functions of government. That was just the media. There’s no sneaky vote.”

“This is a [continuing resolution] that funds every section of government except Obamacare,” Phillips said. “It’s up to Harry Reid at this point. If the House passes it, the only thing standing in the way of funding the government is Harry Reid. If he doesn’t take it to a floor vote in the Senate, then he’s the one responsible for a shutdown scenario.”

“Cruz would absolutely support it,” Phillips said.

Sen. Reid’s office did not immediately return a request for comment, but he does not appear to be in a bipartisan mood.

Reid’s office re-tweeted a parody movie poster from the Senate Democrats Thursday afternoon headlined, “Shutdown 2,” featuring Cruz and Lee.

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