Tea Partiers Seek to Block Budget Stopgap in 'Mice or Men Moment'

That's a Bachmann quote, there

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Tea Party members of Congress are pushing to block a federal budget stopgap from passing, which would force a government shutdown on Friday. Among those looking to stop the stopgap is Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who doesn't want to fund anything until President Obama's health care overhaul is repealed. "This is our mice or men moment," Bachmann said, Slate's Dave Weigel reports. "Are we mice or are we men?"

The three-week stopgap would carve $6 billion from the federal budget for the remaining six months of the fiscal year, but many conservative lawmakers think that's not good enough. "If a member votes for the continuing resolution, that vote effectively says, I am choosing not to fight," Bachmann continued. Her comments add to the "mini-revolt among freshmen and conservatives" that GOP leaders are facing, Roll Call's Steven T. Dennis and John Stanton report.

The number of Republicans coming out against the stopgap is growing. A Republican House aide, whose boss hasn't decided which way to vote, tells Time's Alex Altman reports that “there could be enough 'no' votes to kill it.” Among Senate freshmen, those opposing the continuing resolution include Florida's Marco Rubio, Utah's Mike Lee, and Kentucky's Rand Paul. In the House Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, leader of the conservative Republican Study Committee, and Rep. Mike Pence join freshmen Tim Huelskamp, Allen West, and Jeff Flake. Key conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council, are also urging lawmakers to vote down the measure.

Freshman Rep. Michael Grimm of New York is breaking with his party on the stopgap, however. "The extreme wing of the Republican Party is making a big mistake with their flat-out opposition to a short-term continuing resolution. They're not looking at the big picture." Meanwhile, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist says that spending is being cut at a good pace.

Update: Despite Bachmann's challenge, the House passed a two-week continuing resolution Tuesday afternoon.

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