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Government spending, Obamacare become game of political ‘chicken’ (+video)

Republicans and Democrats are maneuvering for advantage on government spending, Obamacare, and a threatened government shutdown. Within the GOP, there's intramural squabbling.

The GOP and Obamacare: A new showdown
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The game of political chicken continued into the weekend as Republicans and Democrats maneuvered for advantage on government spending, "Obamacare," and a possible government shutdown.

Not long after House Republicans on Friday passed a spending bill stripped of funding for the Affordable Care Act, President Obama called Speaker John Boehner.

It was a short conversation.

Mr. Obama told Mr. Boehner he would not negotiate over the debt limit. The speaker told the president he was sorry to hear that. Have a nice weekend and goodbye.

Boehner and the GOP seem to be in more of a bind than Obama and congressional Democrats.

Conservatives in the GOP-controlled House (minus a few Republicans who voted against the bill Friday) were egged on by Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah – tea party favorites who vow to fight, Churchill-like, to kill Obamacare in the Senate.

With Democrats in control of the upper chamber and prominent Republicans there vocally opposed to what they see as a potentially suicidal effort to shut down the government over the new health-care law, there’s no way that could succeed.

“Americans hate government, but they don't want it to stop functioning," Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona said recently on CNN.


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