Battle Over Obamacare Ramps Up, With Staunch Republicans Risking A Lot

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new budget battle in Washington could lead to a government shutdown in less than two weeks.

The looming threat is the result of a House vote Friday that tied Obamacare funding cuts to a bill that pays for government operations, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

House Republicans celebrated what they saw as a victory, but to others it is another sign of partisan Washington dysfunction.

“Our message to the U.S. Senate is simple. Americans don’t want the government shut down and they don’t want Obamacare,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said.

The Republican-controlled House passed a controversial spending bill that funds government services for three months, but de-funds President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare bill.

Since the Senate won’t pass it, the move sets up another intense budget battle.

“Sooner or later they’re going to have to blink. I know they’re motivated by a small hard right group saying we’re willing to mess up the entire country to achieve our political goals, but there’s a time and a place for everything,” New York Sen. Charles Schumer said.

The Senate intends to pass the budget bill without the health care rider. If the House doesn’t go along a partial government shutdown would begin Oct. 1. Thousands of government workers would not be paid. Even Social Security checks would be held up.

“Either you don’t know what you’re doing or this is one of the most intentional acts of brutality that you have cooked up,” said House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif).

Even some Senate Republicans said they are worried.

“A shutdown is too much. We don’t want a shutdown,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

And pundits said that if House Republicans shut down government public anger could affect local elections in New York City and also Nassau County, where Republican County Executive Ed Mangano is in a tough rematch with Tom Suozzi.

“If the Republicans shut down government it will probably end any chance Joe Lhota has of closing the gap with Bill de Blasio,” said Larry Levy of Hofstra University. “If government is shut down and it damages the Republican brand it could possibly hurt Ed Mangano running for re-election.”

And this is just the beginning of a new round of partisan fiscal infighting. Washington faces an even bigger budget battle over increasing the debt ceiling. If lawmakers don’t raise the government’s borrowing cap by mid to late October, the country faces its first default on bonds and debt obligations, Kramer reported.

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