McConnell intends to force vote on defunding Obamacare

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that he will push for an amendment to Senate Democrats' continuing budget resolution that would defund President Obama's health-care bill.

The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), would effectively delay implementation of the law by cutting off its funding for fiscal 2013.

"With regard to what we're doing this week: the first amendment up on the Republican side will be an amendment by Sen. Cruz related to delaying the implementation of Obamacare until the economy gets back on track," McConnell said.

McConnell had signaled his support for the amendment, something the conservative wing of the party has pushed hard for. But it remains largely symbolic, as it stands little chance of gaining enough Democratic support to pass and may divide the GOP as well.

House Republicans and Senate Democrats are offering competing versions of the continuing resolution, which would fund the government past March 27. Continuing resolutions are routinely used when Congress fails to reach an agreement on the budget.

The two sides are also introducing long-term budgets this week, and President Obama is schedule to release his budget April 8.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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