Congress has less than two weeks to pass a short-term spending plan before a possible government shutdown Oct. 1, so Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his lieutenants are scrambling this week to come up with a strategy that an overwhelming majority of House Republicans can support.
Many GOP lawmakers are rallying around the idea of delaying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as their main point of leverage in budget talks and in negotiations over raising the federal debt limit. (Another debt limit increase is needed because the Treasury Department is expected to run short of cash as soon as Oct. 18, according to independent estimates.)
Some conservative groups are pushing the idea of using government-funding legislation as a vehicle to strip away money for implementing the health-care law, nicknamed Obamacare. More than 50 House Republicans aligned with those groups are cosponsoring legislation introduced last week by Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) that would fund the federal government in part by delaying implementation of the health-care law until Jan. 2015.
GOP leaders have tried in recent weeks to talk rank-and-file members out of that approach and instead allow the Senate to pass a funding bill without any restrictions on Obamacare, in favor of pushing that battle off into mid-October during the effort to craft a debt ceiling compromise.
But dozens of Republicans — what we at The Fix now call the "Cast-Iron Conservatives" — refuse to budge.
They're expected to insist that implementation of the health-care law must be delayed by at least a year if the government is to continue to be funded — making it more difficult for Boehner to pass a spending plan that can pass the House and the Democratic-controlled Senate.
The Fix has been closely tracking fissures in the House Republican ranks, and this summer mapped out five distinct factions in the conference based on several key votes taken in the past year. Using “The Fix’s complete guide to understanding House Republicans” and our recent reporting, here’s a running tally of House Republicans who are either co-sponsoring or supporting the Graves bill. We will update this list as we receive formal word from lawmakers' offices.
Know of any updates to this list? Contact Ed O'Keefe.