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A Government Shutdown Just Became More Likely

A Government Shutdown Just Became More Likely
Photograph by Joel Carillet

Republican leaders in the House canceled a test vote this afternoon that was supposed to pave the way for continued funding of the federal government, which is set to expire at month’s end. This makes a government shutdown more likely: Republican leaders folded because they couldn’t marshal enough support from within their own party.

The reason for the intra-GOP fight is that the party is of two minds about how—and really, whether—to keep trying to kill the Affordable Care Act. Conservatives aligned with the Tea Party, including lawmakers affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, want to kill the law at any price. Establishment Republicans in the House leadership don’t want to have a knock-down, drag-out fight over Obamacare that might force a government shutdown.