Cracks emerge in House GOP on shutdown strategy

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Cracks are starting to emerge among House Republicans on their government funding strategy.

A handful of Republicans in the lower chamber on Tuesday embraced a “clean” continuing resolution (CR): Reps. Pat Meehan (Pa.), Jon Runyan (N.J.), Scott Rigell (Va.), Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Frank Wolf (Va.).

They joined Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and GOP New York Reps. Pete King and Michael Grimm, who endorsed a clean CR earlier this week.

A "clean" bill would not include provisions to delay or defund ObamaCare, and is supported by the White House and Senate Democrats.
 

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In a Tweet, Meehan stated, “I came to DC to fix gov't, not shut it down. It’s time for House to vote for a clean, short-term funding bill to bring Senate to the table.”

Similarly, Rigell wrote on Twitter, “We fought the good fight. Time for a clean CR.”

Wolf agrees with Rigell, a Wolf aide told The Hill. In a statement on the House floor Tuesday, Wolf said, “This is bad for America. It is bad for America. Enough is enough. It’s time to be leaders. It’s time to govern. Open up the government.”

A Fitzpatrick aide said the Pennsylvania Republican would support a clean CR. Runyan told the Burlington County Times he would vote yes on such a measure.

Other centrist Republicans, including Rep. Frank LoBiondo (N.J.), are getting antsy with their leaders.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), meanwhile, is attempting to go on offense by scheduling votes that would open selected government departments at current funding levels. The bills would not fund the Department of Health and Human Services, which is implementing ObamaCare.

— Patrick Mortiere and Julian Notaro contributed.