GOP starts spending showdown with bid to undo Obamacare

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House Republicans will move forward with legislation to defund “Obamacare” and avert a government shutdown at the end of the month as part of their opening gambit in this autumn’s fiscal battles on Capitol Hill.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the GOP would take one more in a series of votes to do away with President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, an effort destined to die in the Democratic Senate. The vote is intended to appease conservatives who had vowed to force a government shutdown unless Obamacare was defunded; once the Senate dispels the legislation, negotiations to fund the government past Sept. 30 can begin in earnest.

“We’re going to continue to do everything we can to repeal the president’s failed healthcare law,” Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill. He said the House will pass a continuing resolution “that locks the sequester savings in and defunds Obamacare.”

The vote will be just the first in a series of maneuvers between House Republicans, Senate Democrats and Obama to both fund the government past the end of September, when it runs out of money, and later, approve new borrowing by the government to service its existing debts.

In remarks a short time later before the Business Roundtable (traditionally a Republican-friendly group), Obama called the GOP strategy on health care the “primary roadblock to resolving the budget.” He said that while he would be willing to work with Republicans over budgetary issues, he would not negotiate over the looming debt ceiling vote as a matter of principle.

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