He said Democrats are ready to work with reasonable people to improve the health care law, “but Republican attempts to take an entire law hostage simply to appease the tea party anarchists are outrageous, irresponsible and futile.”
The Senate could take several days to work through the process, and the wrangling could stretch into next weekend.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, who was among the original proponents of the strategy to defund Obamacare through the temporary spending bill, said the legislation “funds the government, prevents a shutdown and stops Obamacare from being imposed on the American people.
“The fight to stop Obamacare now turns to the Senate, and the American people expect and deserve an up-or-down vote on the bill passed in the House.”
Other members of Oklahoma's all-Republican congressional delegation argued at town hall meetings last month that the tea party strategy was flawed since it would never become law — and wouldn't really defund Obamacare if it did — and they warned against shutting down the government.
But all five Oklahomans in the House voted for the bill and released statements adopting the main tea party talking point — that the bill was aimed at keeping the government open.
The House next week is expected to vote to raise the debt ceiling and attach other conditions, including the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline's northern leg.
Obama on Friday said the United States was not a “deadbeat” nation that didn't pay its debts, and he reiterated his opposition to negotiating over the debt ceiling.
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