The House of Representatives voted Sunday to fund the federal government for a year, linking it to a delay in the implementation of President Obama's health care law.
The vote in the Republican-controlled House was 231-192, setting up a showdown with Senate Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid. The federal government will run out of money at midnight on October 1, if Congress does not break its impasse.
Democrats have said no funding measure will be passed without money to fund Obamacare, which is unpopular with the public according to nearly every poll. Enrollment for health care exchanges is slated to begin Tuesday.
The House also unanimously voted (423-0) to enact a separate bill, which would pay U.S. troops, some defense contractors and civilian Pentagon workers in the event of a government shutdown.
Republicans claim Obamacare will cost many workers their jobs and will create added costs throughout the nation's economy. Americans dislike "this crazy, delusional idea that nationalized central planning will work," said Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C.
But some Democrats charge the Republican attack on Obamacare is an attack on the president himself. "Your hate for this president is coming before your love of this country," said Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., "because if you love this country you would not be closing it down."
GOP leaders argue that they have provided a way to fund the federal government, and the question of a shutdown is now in the hands of the Democrats.
The White House has promised to veto any legislation that doesn't include funding for the president's health care law. But Senate Democrats say it won't get that far. They plan to write their own funding law.
The U.S. Constitution specifies that spending is a province of the House. According to Article 1, Section 7:, "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives."