Republicans may use legislation funding the government the rest of this fiscal year also as a vehicle to defund implementation of healthcare reform, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday.
Boehner said there's "been a lot of discussion" about possibly adding to the GOP's continuing resolution an amendment that would end any automatic funding to implement President Obama's new health reform law. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has been a chief proponent of one such measure.
"I expect that there will be a lot of amendments, and there's been a lot of discussion about that particular amendment," Boehner said on conservative pundit Laura Ingraham's radio show.
House Republicans are expected to vote on a measure funding the government the rest of this year -- a "continuing resolution" (CR) -- that slashes $100 billion in spending the rest of this year. The cuts go even deeper than Boehner and the GOP leadership had sought, after they caught flack from many conservatives in the House who worried the bill didn't measure up to pledges made during last fall's election.
The CR is already expected to face a difficult time in the Democratic-held Senate, and the King amendment could add to the risk that the upper chamber or Obama would reject it. Still, Boehner has pledged an "open" amendment process in coming spending debates, opening the door to the conservative rank-and-file adding the King measure to the bill.
"We're going to do everything that we can in this bill to make sure there's no money in Obamacare," Boehner explained. "Within the rules of debate, over a bill like this, we're going to do everything we can to make sure there's no money."
Updated 11:18 a.m.