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September 20th, 2013
04:30 PM ET

GOP congressman: Senators will 'find Jesus' and defund Obamacare

The Republican-led House launched the latest spending battle in Congress, one that could bring a government shutdown in less than two weeks.

By a 230-189 vote almost strictly on party lines, the House passed a short-term government spending plan that would eliminate all funding for Obamacare.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where the Democratic majority will amend it, likely restoring Obamacare funding, and send it back to the House.

But Republican Rep. Jim Jordan said he hopes that regular Americans, and more spiritual beings, will influence senators.

"When the American people get engaged, they have a way of making elected officials see the light, find the Lord, and do the right thing. This bill does the right thing," Jordan said in an interview with CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper.”

But the bill ties defunding Obamacare, to funding the government. There are not enough votes to pass the bill in the Senate, the president said he would veto it, and that would lead to a government shutdown.

Republican strategist Karl Rove criticized the move in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, saying, "Even the defund strategy's authors say they don't want a government shutdown. But their approach means we'll get one."

"Going down that road would strengthen the president while alienating Independents. It is an ill-conceived tactic, and Republicans should reject it," Rove wrote.

"The people have a way of weighing in on these debates, and changing the minds of politicians," said Jordan. "I think there are senators who are going to find Jesus and do the right thing."

But 67 senators would need to agree with Jordan's assessment to override the threat of a veto from the president, and those votes do not exist in the Democratic-led Senate.

"The president has threatened veto before and we find things, we find things become law," said Jordan.

"Let this play out, let this debate happen," he added.

If the debate plays out, and Obamacare is scrapped, Jordan said Republicans have an alternative health care plan for uninsured Americans.

Republicans have "signed on to a bill with several doctors, who are part of the House Republican conference, have co-sponsored that legislation, which we think is a good alternative to this bill that has all kinds of problems, and the American people know is not ready for enactment," said Jordan.

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