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Obamacare 'defund' to get a vote as shutdown looms

House Speaker John Boehner plans to let Tea Party lawmakers have a vote on defunding Obamacare.
Posted By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   Sept. 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM   |   Comments

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Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Tea Party lawmakers will get a vote on defunding the Affordable Care Act thanks to a surprising decision by House Speaker John Boehner.

The vote is part of a risky political strategy that could result in a government shutdown, Democrats say.

Boehner and his leadership team unveiled a plan Wednesday morning ahead of voting on a proposed bill Friday. The legislation, attached to a bill that would lift the debt ceiling, includes a delay of the healthcare law, an overhaul of the tax code and approval of an energy pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Current funding for the government will expire at the end of the month, and lawmakers must approve the stopgap bill to keep Washington open.

Conservatives have taken advantage of the stopgap to use it as leverage to force a suspension of Obamacare.

Under the plan the House would pass the defunding bill and send it to the Democratic Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid would strip out the provision, setting up a procedural battle with conservatives.

With the government shutdown just 12 days away, the best-case scenario to avoid a shutdown would be a swift defeat in the Senate for the measure, beginning the process of building a bipartisan coalition to create an emergency funding bill.

Follow @cmlee and @UPI on Twitter.
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