Continuing opposition from conservatives forced House GOP leaders on Wednesday to delay a vote on a temporary spending bill required to prevent a government shutdown next month.
The conservatives are unhappy with a plan by GOP leaders to advance the measure through the House coupled with a provision to derail implementation of the new health care law but allow the Democratic Senate to send it on to the White House shorn of the "defund `Obamacare"' provision so long as there is a vote on it.
The plan by top Republicans like Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia would link a tea party plan to block the health care law with a measure that would keep government agencies running through Dec. 15. A Cantor spokesman confirmed that the vote was being delayed until next week.
But in an unusual twist, the measure would be decoupled when presented to the Senate and is designed to permit the Democratic-led chamber to advance the must-do funding measure to the president as a "clean" bill that's free of the assault on Obama's signature health care law.
The complicated plan landed with a thud among many tea party conservatives seeking to use the must-pass funding bill to spark a last-ditch battle with Democrats and Obama on the health care law. Health insurance exchanges are slated to begin functioning on Oct. 1.
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"We've got a large number of folks in our conference who have said they need the vote to happen this way," Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga. "The leadership tried to craft a solution that meets those needs. We may be finding out that we didn't come as close to meeting those needs as folks would have liked."
"I'm not impressed," said Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas.