The GOP’s internal battle pits lawmakers who want the party to take a calculated risk against leaders who fear it would be a big losing bet.
Democrats say there is no chance that they or the president will agree to hollow out his signature domestic achievement.
The White House did not comment for this story, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last week said the Senate would reject any attempt to defund the law.
Still, the GOP’s roll-the-dice faction is undaunted.
“I think the president’s too weak to shut the government down. … I think we will win,” Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) said.
“Syria has hurt him significantly … it is a factor in the CR [continuing resolution] going forward. It is a factor in the debt ceiling,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said.
Conservatives cite recent polling to buttress their case. Following Obama’s aborted attempt to get congressional backing for an attack on Syria, Fox News found public disapproval of Obama’s job performance at an all-time high of 54 percent and his approval rating at 40 percent, equal to his all-time low.