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House Approves Spending Plan That Defunds Affordable Care Act

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Democrats and Republicans are trying to plot their next moves after the GOP-controlled House passed a spending bill Friday that would keep government operating but kill the Affordable Care Act, a move that could lead to a government shutdown on October 1. Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto filed the following report for NY1.

As House Republicans rallied the troops Friday, President Barack Obama was accusing them of setting the stage for a possible government shutdown.

"The American people have worked too hard for too long digging out of a real crisis just to let politicians in Washington cause another crisis," Obama said.

On Friday, the House, in a partisan vote, approved a spending plan that would keep the government operating but strip funding for the Affordable Care Act.

The president and Democrats said that is a non-starter and could cause the government's lights to go out in less than two weeks.

"It's either 50/50 or it's 60/40," said Rep. Gregory Meeks of Queens.

The bill is now on its way to the Senate, where Democrats are preparing to strip it of language that defunds Obamacare before sending it back to the House.

At that point, Republican leaders may be able to avoid a government shutdown if they agree to cobble together enough votes from moderate Republicans and Democrats to pass a plan that doesn't touch the Affordable Care Act, but keeps automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester, in place.

That, however, could be a tough sell among some on the left.

"I wouldn't support anything unless it got rid of the sequester at a higher level," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler of Manhattan.

Some moderate Republicans believe they have a solution. Their plan would eliminate those spending cuts but delay Obamacare.

"I think there are quite a few Democrats that have said, 'We hate sequester. We've got to get rid of this,'" said Rep. Michael Grimm, whose district covers Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. "If we can get rid of the whole debt ceiling and raise the debt ceiling, end the sequester, a delay wouldn't bother me."

Publicly, Democrats laugh at this, making it increasingly likely that partisan bickering could lead to a shutdown.

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