Analysis: Republicans in a risky fight with Obama

September 24, 2013 • National News

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, flanked by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., left, and Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speak with reporters just off the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, as lawmakers struggle with a stopgap spending bill that would prevent a partial government shutdown when the budget year ends next week. Tea party-leaning members of the House GOP caucus successfully attached language to that bill last week that would strip funding for President Barack Obama’s health care program. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under relentless pressure from their right wing, Republicans are in the midst of a risky fight with President Barack Obama they know they will lose, little more than a year before an election that history says they should win.

To minimize the damage, the party must redefine victory as something less than a full defunding of the 3-year-old health care law, yet persuade the most conservative GOP supporters that Republican lawmakers succumbed after a principled fight. All without triggering a government shutdown or a default by the Treasury, or otherwise offending independents whose ballots will settle the 2014 elections.

Already, party leaders are making that effort. “I just don’t happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is the best route to defunding Obamacare,” Sen. Mitch McConnell Login to read more

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