There is a movement brewing among conservative Republicans to insist that the federal health care law known as Obamacare be defunded as part of an agreement to keep the government running. But House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday was noncommittal when asked if the House would pursue a bill that strips funding for the law.
"No decisions have been made on how we're going to proceed,” Boehner said at his weekly press briefing when asked if the House version of a continuing resolution to fund the government, which Congress must pass within the next two months to avoid a government shutdown, would include Obamacare funding.
Since the law, the Affordable Care Act, was passed in 2010, the House has voted multiple times to repeal it.
Boehner’s comments came at the same time a group of Republicans in both chambers are pursuing a campaign to refuse to fund the government unless Obamacare is defunded.
In the House, a bill introduced by Georgia Rep. Tom Graves to defund Obamacare has 100 co-sponsors, and a similar measure in the Senate proposed by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has support from GOP leaders like Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and South Dakota Sen. John Thune.
The effort could set up yet another government shutdown showdown on Capitol Hill this fall. For now, however, Boehner appears to be biding his time before the funding deadline forces a decision.
“We’ll take this one step at a time,” Boehner said. “I’m sure the August recess will have our members in a better mood when we come back.”