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"I’ve got a titanium backbone. Let ‘em blame, let ‘em talk, it’s fine," said Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. She said the GOP wanted to keep the government open, but also wanted to reduce its size and "delay, defund, repeal and replace Obamacare," as the health law is called.
Despite such claims, House Republicans have yet to offer a replacement measure for the law they have pledged to repeal. They first promised to do so three years ago, during the 2010 election campaign when they wrested a majority from the Democrats.
If lawmakers miss the approaching deadline, a wide range of federal programs would be affected, from the national parks to the Pentagon.
Some critical services such patrolling the borders, inspecting meat and controlling air traffic would continue. Social Security benefits would be sent and the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs for the elderly and poor would continue to pay doctors and hospitals.
The new health insurance exchanges would open Tuesday, a development that’s lent urgency to the drive to use a normally routine stopgap spending bill to gut implementation of the law.
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