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GOP reluctant to back Tea Party plan to kill health law

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is among Tea Party backed lawmakers who are pushing an aggressive measure to short-circuit President Obama's health care law.

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By Reuters
Wednesday, July 31, 2013, 7:27 p.m.

WASHINGTON — A Tea Party-inspired plan to kill President Obama's healthcare law by forcing a government shutdown unless funds to implement the law are denied has not gained traction among senior Republicans in the House of Representatives, lawmakers said on Wednesday.

“I think leadership is giving other options that they think are more effective,” said Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner.

Tiberi, speaking to Reuters after a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, said that while a final decision probably had not been made, his colleagues are more likely to continue pushing for Congress to repeal individual provisions of “Obamacare.”

Republicans have been on a continuous campaign to kill Obama's landmark healthcare law, which aims to help provide medical insurance for millions of people who cannot afford it on their own. They argue that the law, which is taking effect in stages, will discourage job creation and saddle businesses with higher costs.

Tea Party-backed conservatives in the Senate, including Sens. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, have been trying to persuade enough of their fellow Republicans to join them in a high-stakes gamble that would threaten a government shutdown on the start of the new fiscal year, Oct. 1, unless legislation to keep Washington operating specifically defunds Obamacare.

More senior Senate Republicans have savaged the idea, with some calling it “dumb,” “silly,” “feckless” and “dishonest.”

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