Boehner: House won't pass 'clean' spending bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans will not simply pass a temporary spending bill from the Democratic Senate after it is

shorn clean of a tea party plan to "defund Obamacare," House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday.

"I don't see that happening," Boehner told reporters. He added that "I have no interest in a government shutdown" and still

doesn't expect one to occur on Tuesday, even though the House move appears to raise the risk of one.

At the same time, the Ohio Republican said House GOP leaders would unveil legislation to lift the government's borrowing cap,

but only if the new health care law is delayed for a year. He defended that measure's relatively modest spending cuts even

as some rank-and-file conservatives pressed for more.

"It does not cut spending significantly. It

does not fix the problem," Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said of the debt

ceiling package.

He said he was undecided about whether to support it. "We need to

significantly cut federal government spending, or long-term

have a balanced budget constitutional amendment."

President Barack Obama again vowed he won't negotiate over the debt ceiling measure.

"The entire world looks to us to make sure

that the world economy is stable. You don't mess with that," Obama said

at a community

college in Largo, Md. "And that's why I will not negotiate on

anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United

States of America."

Pressure is building on fractious House

Republicans as a partial government shutdown looms at midnight Monday if

a bitterly-divided

Congress can't send a temporary spending bill to Obama on time.

Republicans are breaking from longstanding tradition by trying

to use the short-term spending bill to jam GOP agenda items past

the Senate and Obama.

Meanwhile, the Senate trudged ahead toward a Friday vote on stripping the defund Obamacare provision from the House-passed

stopgap funding bill. Boehner's remarks mean the House will return the stopgap measure to the Senate over the weekend, but

he declined to describe what measures Republicans might add to it.

A partial government shutdown would keep hundreds of thousands of federal workers off the job, close national parks and generate

damaging headlines for whichever side the public holds responsible.

The timeline is daunting since delays in the

Senate — where tea party favorite Ted Cruz, R-Texas, promises to

filibuster any

bill that doesn't block Obamacare — could mean the first partial

shutdown since the 1995-96 government closures that bruised

Republicans and strengthened the hand of Democratic President Bill

Clinton.

"When we send this legislation back to the House, Republicans have got to put an end to the tea party temper tantrums and

pass our bill without any gimmicks and without any games," said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash.

A 21-hour talkathon by Ted Cruz whipped up the GOP's tea party wing even as it complicated efforts by House GOP leaders to

assemble rank-and-file support for a temporary spending measure.

Cruz wants to derail the spending bill to deny Democrats the ability to strip out the anti-Obamacare provision, a strategy

that has put him at odds with other Republicans who say the move won't work and fear it would spark a shutdown.

Many GOP senators, including the Senate's

top two Republicans, have said they'll vote to advance the measure

rather than filibuster

it to death, a vote that promises to give Democrats controlling

the chamber a procedural edge in a subsequent vote to kill

the tea party's effort to use the must-pass bill to derail

Obamacare.

Wednesday evening, Senate Majority Leader

Harry Reid, D-Nev., unveiled his version of the stopgap spending bill,

which would

keep the government running through Nov. 15. He set in motion a

key vote on Friday that promises to expose the divide between

Cruz and more pragmatic Republicans. Senate passage of the

spending bill — stripped of the Obamacare provision — was expected

no later than Saturday.

The simplest thing for Republicans to do

would be to accept the Senate bill and send it to the White House for

Obama's signature,

a prospect that's unappealing to Republicans because it would make

them look like they're surrendering. Boehner originally

preferred a plan to deliver to Obama a stopgap funding bill

without the Obamacare provisions.

Now, GOP leaders are exploring adding

face-saving options — like the repeal of a tax on medical devices, which

many Democrats

also oppose — to the stopgap spending bill. There's also sentiment

to take away the health insurance subsidy awarded lawmakers

now that they'll be required to purchase health care on Obamacare

exchanges.

The House is expected to approve a measure

this week allowing the Treasury to borrow freely for another year,

although that

legislation, too, would include a provision to carry out the

Republican campaign against Obamacare. While no final decisions

have been made, party officials said a one-year delay was likely

to be added, rather than the full-fledged defunding that

is part of the spending bill awaiting action in the Senate.

The GOP's demands on the debt limit involves

far less dramatic spending cuts than Republicans demanded from Obama in

a debt

showdown two years. Then, Republicans extracted $2.1 trillion in

cuts over a decade for a similar increase in the borrowing

cap. Now, GOP leaders are mulling a 14-month borrowing increase

that would increase the debt ceiling by almost $1 trillion

but are considering only modest cuts, like an increase in the

contribution federal workers make to their pensions.

Shutdown-averting stopgap spending bills

traditionally have been steered clear of these kinds of battles for fear

of a politically

damaging shutdown. But with the new health care law poised to

enroll millions of people into Obamacare starting Oct. 1, there's

a new urgency among opponents to pull out all the stops to try to

derail it.