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Ark. lawmakers divided on health defunding idea

By ANDREW DeMILLO
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas' Republican delegation in Washington is split over whether to tie the health care law's defunding to budget negotiations this fall, despite running against the overhaul in the past two elections.

The state's Republican senator and a congressman from its GOP stronghold are against an effort to block funding for the 2010 law in spending bills, saying it would spark a standoff that would shut down the federal government. Three other lawmakers say they believe it should be part of the negotiations, but stop short of saying whether they'd vote for any spending bills that allowed the law's implementation.

Critics of the defunding push say drawing a line on the health care law's defunding would ensure a shutdown, since the Democrat-led Senate and President Barack Obama would reject the idea.

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