Senate Republicans still haven’t figured out how to defund Obamacare and keep funding the government.
Competing factions of the party are arguing over just how aggressive they should be in seeking to dismantle the health care law.
On one side, about one-third of the 46-member Republican Conference has signed on to a strategy to oppose any spending bill that contains Obamacare funding — a tally that has sputtered of late and remains stuck at 14.
On the other, a large chunk of Senate Republicans has turned its back on that strategy, arguing it could once again paint the GOP as the “government shutdown party” as the country careens toward a Sept. 30 deadline to keep the government funded.
The Senate’s discord is spilling over to the House, where Republican leaders thought they could satisfy both camps by forcing the Senate to take two separate votes: one on a continuing resolution that would keep the government running into December and another on defunding Obamacare.
But opposition to that plan fueled by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah caused a rebellion among House conservatives, delaying a vote on the House measure.
“They’re screwing us,” fumed a House GOP aide who had hoped that giving Senate Republicans yet another opportunity to unanimously oppose Obamacare would be enough to satisfy two of the most prominent Senate conservatives.