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Conservative Groups Oppose Stopgap Budget Bill

The Tea Party Nation joined calls from fellow conservative groups this week for Congress not to approve another short-term budget stopgap slated for votes Tuesday.

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips says in a posting to the group's social networking website that members would start working to unseat House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, unless House Republican leadership moves to strip funding for the health care law from the latest continuing resolution.

"If Speaker Boehner will not work to eliminate the Obamacare spending, then we must work to get a new Speaker in 2012 and a new Representative from Ohio's eight district," Phillips writes.

Phillips cites efforts by Republican representatives Michele Bachmann, of Minnesota, and Steve King, of Iowa, to strip $105 billion Phillips calls "stealth funding of Obamacare that was inserted into a previous budget," and asks Tea Party Nation members to contact Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, of Virginia, to express their disapproval.

"We must remind the GOP why we put them in power," Phillips writes. "We sent them there to cut spending and one of the biggest spending targets is Obamacare."

Phillips went a step further Monday, adding Planned Parenthood to the list of programs a short-term CR must not fund: "Do not pass a continuing resolution that does not include legislation defunding Obamacare and Planned Parenthood. We should remind them, for us, this is not negotiable."

The move echoes statements made Friday by the Heritage Foundation's political organizing wing, Heritage Action, along with the Club for Growth and Family Research Council in opposition to the newest CR. Heritage Action writes in an open letter to Congress Monday that its opposition is based less on the content of the bill than on political gamesmanship that could jeopardize conservative spending goals for both 2011 and 2012.

"A three-week CR would expire on April 8, 2011, just as the House of Representatives is passing the FY2012 budget out of committee and sending it to the floor," the letter reads. "This has always been Senator Reid's endgame strategy: continually pushing short-term CRs to move this fight back far enough that it starts to overlap with conservative attempts to use the FY2012 budget debate and debt-ceiling debate as opportunities to get our nation's fiscal house in order.

"Senator Reid's strategy is intended to blur the lines, confuse the public and substantially weaken conservatives' negotiating hand on both the FY2012 budget and the debt-limit increase. Therefore, we believe conservatives must prevent him from executing this strategy if we are start moving our country back towards fiscal responsibility."

House Republican leadership argues at least one conservative group doesn't think banding together against the CR is such a good idea. Boehner's staff points to comments made by Grover Norquist, president of the anti-tax Americans for Tax Reform, on C-SPAN Sunday that challenge conservatives' opposition to the short-term bill.

"Is this vote the only opportunity? We are going to have a vote every two weeks, every three weeks. There are lots of bites of this apple," he said.

Norquist also said that this may not be the right opportunity to tackle Planned Parenthood funding.

"Planned parenthood is not just a spending issue, it also drags in a series of policy questions," he said. "So I don't understand tactically why Club for Growth would not understand [that] we are winning on the spending issue--why bring in another issue right now?"

Still, some GOP lawmakers are already announcing their intent to oppose this and future continuing resolutions. The latest measure, which would continue government spending at 2010 levels, was scheduled for votes in the House Tuesday.