By Elise Viebeck - 07/23/13 06:58 PM EDT
An conservative advocacy group on Tuesday endorsed using the threat of a government shutdown to defund ObamaCare.
Heritage Action on Tuesday goaded lawmakers to support House and Senate bills to defund the healthcare law, and urged them to link the measures to "must-pass" legislation, such as a bill to fund the government.
Proponents of the plan argue that it's the only way to kill the Affordable Care Act before the law's major provisions take effect next year.
The group said it will keep count of all members who co-sponsor legislation from Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to defund the healthcare law.
This process is sometimes called "scoring" or "key voting." It provides an easy way for pressure groups to see which members support their priorities — and determine who deserves backing during the next election.
Conservative legislative scorecards have become particularly influential as Tea Party challengers seek to unseat Republican lawmakers.
At this stage, Heritage Action plans only to tally the names of members who co-sponsor the Graves and Cruz bills.
The group made clear that it will disapprove of lawmakers who do not join efforts to defund ObamaCare in "must-pass" legislation, but will not list who those members are at this point.
The threat of a government shutdown over ObamaCare is growing more likely as Senate Republicans, including two members of the leadership team, increasingly support the plan.
The effort's leader, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), has said he will have enough votes to filibuster any stopgap measure that includes ObamaCare funding.
“This is the last stop before ObamaCare fully kicks in on Jan. 1 of next year for us to refuse to fund it,” Lee said Monday on “Fox and Friends.”
“If Republicans in both houses simply refuse to vote for any continuing resolution that contains further funding for further enforcement of ObamaCare, we can stop it."