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Senate Republicans remain divided on attempts to defund Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Healthcare Act.
In fact, Republican efforts to defund Obamacare are likely to fail – but for investors that may not be the worst outcome, as we shall see.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, says he opposes Obamacare, but has refused to offer support for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's, R-TX, efforts to eliminate spending for the law.
With the new healthcare exchanges set to open Oct. 1, polls show Americans are still strongly opposed to the law – one reason Sens. Cruz and Rand Paul, R-KY, are making one last stand to defund Obamacare.
The GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted 230 to 189 last Friday to keep the government open through mid-December – but only if the budget strips out Obamacare funding.
But the Democrats control the Senate, and none are likely to cross party lines to vote to defund Obamacare.
So now the highly public effort by Cruz and his allies has put the rest of the Senate Republicans in a tough spot politically. Most realize that any effort to shut down the government if the Democrats do not agree to defund Obamacare would have ugly ramifications…
Will Congress Defund Obamacare? It Won't Be Easy
Polls show Americans would blame Republicans more than President Obama and the Democrats over cuts to essential services and entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
And that could be trouble in the 2014 midterm elections.
At the same time, strongly anti-Obamacare constituencies are also closely watching which way the Republican senators vote. Not voting to defund Obamacare could result in a primary challenge from a Tea Party/Libertarian candidate next year.
But the Senate Republicans could end up with an unexpected savior – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV. It's possible Reid won't allow a floor vote on the House bill, given that he has never brought any repeal or defunding bills to a vote.
So will Congress defund Obamacare?