Poll on U.S. government shutdown spells trouble for Republicans

Poll on U.S. government shutdown spells trouble for Republicans
# 23 September 2013 23:49 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. As Republican lawmakers pushed ahead on Monday with a campaign to scuttle President Barack Obama's healthcare program, a survey suggested that they risk a public backlash should their efforts lead to a government shutdown or a default.

The CNBC poll reported that by a 59-19 percent margin, respondents opposed linking defunding of "Obamacare" to a possible shutdown starting on October 1, or to a failure to raise the government's borrowing authority, meaning Washington may not be able to pay all of its bills by sometime in October or early November.

Eighteen percent were undecided, according to nationwide poll of 800 people conducted by Hart-McInturff. It had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

On Friday Republicans in the House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate a measure that would make continued funding of the government contingent on defunding Obamacare. The bill passed on a mostly partisan vote of 230-189.

They plan a similar strategy when they take up a measure to raise the debt ceiling, which if defeated could lead to a government default.

The Democratic-controlled Senate will take up the House spending bill later on Monday. Democrats expect to send it back to the House by Sunday with the Obamacare provision stripped out, according to a Senate Democratic aide.

That timetable guarantees a down-to-the wire battle through next weekend, with little time for the House to respond to the Senate action.

The long Republican war against "Obamacare" is at the heart of the clashes ahead, just as important provisions of that law start taking effect on October 1.

The only certainty is that when the dust settles, Obamacare will still be standing. Neither the Senate nor the Democratic president will agree to a bill delaying the program, signed into law by Obama in March, 2010, to provide health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans.