FreedomWorks pushes GOP to embrace ObamaCare shutdown threat

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The scoring process will test members' "reasonableness" and commitment to gutting the healthcare law, Kibbe said.

Scorecards are influential on the right in determining which Republican lawmakers receive primary challenges. They also provide fodder for primary attacks.

Kibbe made the announcement at a press conference designed to show support for the shutdown threat ahead of the August recess, when conservative lawmakers will attempt to sell the movement around the country.

Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) spoke to reporters along with House members and representatives from conservative groups, including the Club for Growth and Tea Party Patriots.

Brent Bozell, president of the Tea Party group ForAmerica, said he personally supports launching primary efforts against Republicans who oppose the defunding push.

Another group, Heritage Action, is also keeping tabs on efforts to kill ObamaCare in September, promising to identify members who do not cosponsor defunding bills from Cruz and Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.).

Cruz predicted a "tsunami" of support Thursday for drastic measures to stop the healthcare law's implementation.

He and other conservatives have vowed to block any government funding measure that includes money for the healthcare law.

The move is likely to result in a government shutdown if conservatives do not back down, as the current continuing resolution expires at the end of September and Obama will not agree to a measure that defunds ObamaCare.

Establishment Republicans have lashed out at the strategy, which they predict will doom the Republican Party if a shutdown occurs.

ObamaCare's major provisions take effect on Jan. 1.

Its new insurance exchanges are scheduled to open for enrollment on Oct. 1, putting pressure on conservatives who want to block the law before its benefits reach voters.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) painted the funding fight as a matter of life and death Thursday, predicting that seniors' lives will be shortened under ObamaCare.

"Who do you want to die in America so that we're on par with the English system?" Gohmert said, referring to Britain's universal health system.

—Molly Hooper contributed.