House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said the bid to defund the health care law before the government can be funded past this month is “simply unacceptable” and a “nonstarter” for Democrats and President Obama.
Mr. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, said his party also will not entertain a one-year delay of the law’s key provisions.
“Very frankly, all of the reasonable Republicans that I’ve talked to know that it’s a nonstarter,” Mr. Hoyer told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “John Boehner and Eric Cantor know it’s a nonstarter. They talk about it, but they tried to set up a procedure where they would make their point, for the 41st time, [that] they want to see the Affordable Care Act repealed.”
Then, they would go forward with a continuing resolution that would be acceptable to the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Asked if he’d agree to a delay of the law, Mr. Hoyer said “I don’t think that’s a compromise.”
He said millions of Americans are counting on the law to gain coverage when state insurance markets open on Oct. 1 and select states expand Medicaid in January.
Republicans, he said, refuse to accept that they lost the presidential election last year so they are irresponsibly holding the budget process hostage.
“Nobody wants to see the government shut down,” he told CNN.
But conservatives in Congress say the American people are on their side. They point to polls that show the law remains unpopular and the White House’s decisions to delay parts of the law.