AP image of the U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- As the clock ticks toward a possible Oct. 1. government shutdown, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday the House will not accept the Senate's stopgap spending bill.
"I don't see that happening," Boehner said following a closed door meeting with House Republicans.
The Senate could vote as early as today on a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running through Nov. 15. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., removed from the bill a House-passed provision to defund President Obama's health care law.
The Senate is expected to send a "clean" spending bill with no health care provisions attached back to the House this weekend. Boehner will then amend the spending bill and volley it back to the Senate, with roughly 24 hours before a shutdown would take place.
Republicans are considering a number of options including shortening the length of the CR or reattaching provisions to rein in the health care law.
The assault on the health care law is part of a two-pronged effort by congressional Republicans to defund or delay the Affordable Care Act, which beings open enrollment on Oct. 1.
House Republican leaders briefed their lawmakers Thursday morning on a separate legislative package they intend to attach to an impending vote to raise the debt ceiling, the nation's borrowing limit, which hits Oct. 17.
The House could vote as early as Friday on a package to extend the debt ceiling through the 2014 midterm elections in exchange for a one year full delay of the implementation of the health care law.
The Senate voted Wednesday 100-0 to begin debate on a House-passed bill to keep the government open and defund the Affordable Care Act, which begins open enrollment Tuesday. Reid plans to strip out the defunding language and send a bill back to the GOP-controlled House, possibly as late as Sunday. Obama has vowed to veto any legislation that would defund the law.
MORE: Senate votes to avert government shutdown -- for now
GOP leaders say they are not seeking a shutdown, but Republicans are under pressure from conservatives in Congress and outside activists to oppose any spending bill that does not defund "Obamacare." For instance, the influential anti-tax group Club for Growth announced it will use upcoming votes on the stopgap bill in the House and Senate to compile its annual scorecards rating lawmakers' conservative credentials.
MORE: Fact check: Truth about 'Obamacare'?
The group praised Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who held the Senate floor for more than 21 hours from Tuesday to Wednesday, mostly yielding only for questions from friendly GOP senators. The filibuster-style speech put Cruz in fourth place on the list of longest speeches in Senate history, falling about three hours shy of the record set in 1957 by South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond, who spoke in opposition to the Civil Rights Act.
STORY: Cruz talkathon one for the ages
Cruz made a case against the law as a costly intrusion into people's lives that has hampered economic growth. Overnight, he also discussed the Revolutionary War and the battle against the Nazis, and he cited lines from Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham and Star Wars.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said he did not believe Obama watched Cruz. "We oppose any efforts to engage in the political battle of the past to try to achieve some sort of ideological victory in a way that not only shuts down the government, but then, if successful, would deprive these very families of health insurance that they need," Carney said.