While a compromise seems elusive to members of Congress, the people they govern are saying they want precisely that.
A recent Gallup poll shows that 53 percent of Americans say it is more important for lawmakers to compromise while only 25 percent say sticking to beliefs is more important. Another 20 percent of the 1,510 adults surveyed earlier this month are in the middle between those two positions.
Congress must find solutions to avert a potential government shutdown after Sept. 30 and to meet a debt-limit deadline that's believed to be mid-October. Currently, the Senate is working on a continuing resolution, a temporary funding bill, passed by the House of Representatives last week. That piece of legislation will keep the government running until Dec. 15, giving lawmakers time to work on a more permanent solution. The resolution is a contentious one, as it prohibits funding for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a signature achievement by President Barack Obama. Democrats oppose that, and the Democratic-controlled Senate will not pass any budget measure that cuts funding for the new health care law.
Republicans plan to take another crack at the health care law next month, asking for its defunding as a condition to increase the government’s borrowing ability.
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Lawmakers on both sides have said they expect to pass an agreement that will keep the government running but just don’t how that will happen.
“We all know that the government is going to be funded,” said Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The question is, whether it will be funded with Obamacare or without.”
Lee is a one of a group of tea party-backed Republicans who are pushing to withhold money from Obamacare.