Republicans back govt shutdown to stop Obamacare

July 29, 2013, 8:04 PM GMT+0

Americans widely oppose using the threat of government shutdowns as a political tactic, but Republicans would overwhelmingly support a government shutdown to stop Obamacare.

The Republican leadership in Congress has said that it will not pass a "continuing resolution" to allow the federal government to continue spending money unless implementation of Obamacare is de-funded, effectively overturning the President's signature legislative measure. The failure to pass a continuing resolution - or a new budget - would mean that on October 1st the government would be unable to spend money, effectively shutting down the federal government, stopping a wide variety of payments and likely causing significant issues in the administration of Medicare and Social Security.

The latest YouGov research shows that, in principle, the vast majority of Americans are against using government shutdown threats as a way of achieving political goals. 72% oppose using the threat of a shutdown to achieve certain goals, while only 15% think that it is an appropriate tactic. A majority of each major political grouping rejects the use of threats, though Democrats (82%) are somewhat more likely than Republicans (61%) to think it is inappropriate.

Attitudes toward a government shutdown change dramatically when faced with a real situation, however. When asked whether they would support a government shutdown to stop the implementation of Obamacare, Republicans switched dramatically, with 67% saying that they would support the shutdown and only 18% saying that they would not support it. Democrats, unsurprisingly, remained overwhelmingly against a government shutdown to stop Obamacare. Independents were nearly evenly split, with 42% opposing an anti-Obamacare shutdown and 38% supporting it.

The threat to shutdown the government in order to defund Obamacare has been met with criticism from many within the Republican Party. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) said that it was the "dumbest idea" he had ever heard of. The effort to defund Obamacare has the support of 15 GOP senators - including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz - as well as 60 House Republicans, though many other Republican congresspeople have refused to sign or have not yet indicated their stance on the issue.

Full results can be found here.

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