Texas Rep. Steve Stockman has stepped forward as a vocal advocate in the House for a divisive strategy being pushed by high-profile Senate Republicans to “defund Obamacare” through the upcoming debate on federal spending.
While lawmakers left Capitol Hill for the August recess, Mr. Stockman, a Republican, said he’s filed a House resolution that would require any decision to increase the nation’s debt limit or any continuing resolution to fund the government to include language that “constructively repeals” the Affordable Care Act by refusing to appropriate funds for it.
Outspoken conservatives in the Senate are pushing the same plan, although senior Republicans have warned the idea could be futile or even reckless, since the party could be blamed for a government shutdown.
“The resolution fulfills the legislative strategy advocated last week by [Texas GOP Sen.] Ted Cruz and [Utah GOP Sen.] Mike Lee,” Mr. Stockman’s office said Tuesday.
Although Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana was the first House Republican to publicly promote plans to defund Obamacare, he proposed doing so through the continuing resolution. He has not signed onto Mr. Stockman’s resolution, which also includes the debt ceiling. House Speaker John A. Boehner also has not offered his support to either proposal.
Numerous conservative groups support the idea, saying congressional Republicans should use the spending process as a last-ditch chance to dismantle the health care law before its key provisions start taking effect this fall.
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Heritage Action, a conservative politics wing of the Heritage Foundation in Washington, has scheduled a nine-city “Defund Obamacare Town Hall Tour” for late August.
• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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