Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) on Tuesday became the latest Republican to call for a federal government shutdown if Obamacare isn't defunded.
McClintock's comments were made during a town hall meeting in Sacramento, at which he addressed the upcoming budget negotiations after the August recess. Congress has until Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year, to pass a continuing resolution that would keep the federal government open.
"We face the prospect of a government shutdown if something doesn’t happen, and that something is a continuing resolution which essentially puts aside all of that painstaking work on the appropriations bills, [which] has gone into months and months of deliberations, and they simply kick the can down the road for another year," McClintock said.
"I told the House leadership, 'I will cut you a lot of slack on the appropriations bills.' I understand they have to be reconciled with the Senate. This is a compromising process. They have to be approved by the president," he added. "But I am not going to vote for any more continuing resolutions that simply kick that can down the road. Now, I'll make one exception to that, and that is if we can get a provision in the continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare this year."
Last month, McClintock joined more than 60 Republicans in a letter sent to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), urging GOP House leadership to cut off money for the implementation of President Barack Obama's health care law in the proposed continuing resolution. A faction of conservatives led by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) are pushing a similar effort in the Senate.
Also on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly told a crowd at a Kentucky health care forum that "shutting down the government will not stop Obamacare." Several other leading Republicans panned the idea in recent weeks.
But its proponents remain defiant, using town halls to tout their unwavering commitment to repealing the Affordable Care Act. Lee even issued a warning to colleagues last month that this was the GOP's last chance to do so.
"Defund it or own it," Lee said. "If you fund it, you're for it."