House Republicans decided Saturday to link funding of the federal government to a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare. The unpopular law is supposed to go into effect Tuesday, when health care exchanges open.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said the Senate would not pass a bill that changes the health care law, and President Obama has said he would veto such a bill.
That means a government shutdown next week is more likely than at any time since 1995, the last time a fight in Congress stopped government services. The government runs out of money on October 1 at midnight if no agreement is reached.
Republicans were divided last week when Texas Senator Ted Cruz tried to rally his party to defund Obamacare. Many Republicans joined Demcrats in shutting off debate Friday, and the Senate sent a government funding bill back to the House.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) believes his party will unite around the plan. "We've had enough disunity in our party. The headlines are Republicans fighting Republicans," Cantor said. "This will unite us. This protects the people who sent us here from Obamacare."
Republicans also plan to pass a bill which would fund the U.S. military in the event of a government shutdown.
House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) called the Republican plan "unreasonable."