Congress has about a week to pass a spending bill before parts of the federal government could shut down.
The GOP-majority House passed a continuing resolution on Friday that would keep the government open for another few months, but in exchange for withholding funding for the Affordable Care Act. The Democratic-controlled Senate is almost certain to reject the resolution.
Appearing on Fox News Monday, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said he supported the plan because of the potential problems in a law many Republicans derisively call “Obamacare.”
“The bill sucks!” Graham said in the interview. “It really does and it’s an albatross around our Democratic (Party) friends and they will slowly but surely, if (Republicans) don’t screw this up, come to us because it’s more than they can carry in the election cycles of 2014 and 2016.”
While Graham has always opposed the health care reform law, he has previously criticized the strategy pushed by Sen. Ted Cruz and other Tea Party-aligned conservatives to tie defunding to a government shutdown. In July, Graham called such a strategy a “bridge too far.”
Graham says Republicans could have gotten at least five Senate Democrats to vote to defund the law, but focused all efforts towards persuading fellow GOP members to support the move.
“Obamacare will take a hit but it won’t be defunded,” he said. “I don’t think the government is going to shut down I think there will be a deal to do something to delay the individual mandate maybe a year.”
Graham says nearing the 11th hour, a compromise will be struck to avoid a government shutdown.
“I think the House colleagues, along Senate Democrats and Republicans and the White House can find ways to delay Obamacare; maybe repeal the medical device tax that is hurting that part of the economy.”