It's looking to be a busy week in Washington with a government shut down imminent and what is likely to be a volatile debate in the U.S. Senate over Obamacare.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Monday that the debate over a spending bill and whether or not to include a provision to defund the Affordable Healthcare Act is not only a divisive point among Democrats and Republicans, it is also splitting the GOP.
Tea party leader Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has called for Republicans to unite and organize a filibuster in the Senate this week so that the spending bill has no chance of going through. While he has support from other tea party members, Cruz's antics are not sitting well with other members of the GOP. Republican Senators like Bob Corker of Tennessee, have said that Cruz's strategy has no end game and is leading the party into a "box canyon" and "will fail and weaken [the GOP's] position."
Cruz, a potential presidential contender, only started his filibuster strategy a few days ago, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the spending bill after removing funding for Obamacare. Republicans worry that the Democrat controlled Senate will remove the provision to defund the health care act before sending it back to the House. Republicans have few options in how they can respond to the bill. They can get behind Cruz's filibuster plan and stop the bill from going through, but then they risk being blamed for a government shuts down, which is what will happen if the bill doesn't make it back to the House by the end of the week. Or, GOP members of the Senate can remove themselves from the debate and attempt to fight the healthcare law again during the next budget battle in mid-October. Republicans have been adamant that they don't want to shut down the government; they want to shut down Obamacare.
The Affordable Health Care Act has been a point of contention for quite some time and support is divided along party lines, as most major political issues are. Republicans are staunchly opposed, saying the act will hurt the American economy, while Democrats fully support Obama's plan to bring affordable health care to all U.S. citizens. The true test of the health care act will come when the healthcare marketplace opens on October 1.