Forty times Republicans have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, better known as "Obamacare."
Forty times with no chance of getting the legislation through the democratically controlled Senate. Forty times with no chance of getting the President to repeal his own law.
Now they've got a new plan. Only this one could lead to a government shutdown.
Conservative lawmakers are now demanding that the ACA be defunded before they'll agree on a budget deal of any kind. Texas Republican Ted Cruz is spearheading the effort to defund the ACA and needs either 41 Republicans to stand with him in the Senate or 218 from the House.
Even he admits that the odds are against him.
"If conventional Washington rules apply, this fight is un-winnable. If the only forum in which arguments are going to be advanced is closed door meetings in the Senate and House, we will not have the votes," said Cruz.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is far more optimistic. He says that when it comes to defunding the ACA there are supporters on both sides of the aisle.
"The fact is the Democrats have Senate seats that are up in very red states; South Dakota, Montana, and Arkansas. They don't want these exchanges to take place because they actually want to win their election, so my sense is delay or defund is on the table in a big way, even for Democrats."
Priebus may be right, but what he may not have, what Cruz may not have, is a majority of support from the American people: According to a recent survey by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, 57 percent of Americans are against defunding the ACA. In the survey the majority said they would rather see the law repealed than defunded... Something that's been tried forty times.
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