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Oklahoma congressmen gear up for vote on defunding Obamacare

Oklahoma's congressional delegation looks to Friday's vote on a bill that would fund all of government except the health care law, setting up a showdown with the Senate as the clock ticks toward a shutdown.
by Chris Casteel Published: September 20, 2013

At a news conference, Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, said people in his district want the law repealed.

“They want it defunded, they want it dismantled, they want it to go away,” Bridenstine said.

The freshman was among those pushing House Republican leaders for the last few weeks to require a vote defunding Obamacare as a condition for funding the rest of government.

Most members of Oklahoma's congressional delegation have been skeptical that the approach would work — and they're worried that Republicans will be blamed if the government shuts down — but all five of the state's House members are expected to vote on Friday for the bill.

What happens in the Senate remains to be seen, but Reid may be able to employ procedural maneuvers to strip the language on Obamacare and send the House back a bill that would simply keep the government running until mid-December.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, said the legislation defunding Obamacare was a tea party tactic that would lead to a government shutdown and exacerbate the harmful economic effects of the budget cuts known as the sequester that caused many agencies to furlough workers.

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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