WASHINGTON — House Republican leaders are discussing using Friday’s deadline for a must-pass government funding plan to force the Senate to accept a bill without measures to stabilize Affordable Care Act insurance markets that are drawing objections from conservatives, according to a Republican aide.

In the scenario under discussion, House Republicans would pass their temporary spending measure, with full-year funding for defense and money for everything else through Jan. 19, on a party-line vote. This would depend on Republicans standing together to pass their bill, thereby removing any leverage for Democrats.

The bill would be sent to the Senate, which is expected to strip out the long-term defense spending and add two health insurance measures to get support from Democrats – and fulfill a promise to Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine for her vote on the tax overhaul.

From this point, the House could agree to pass the Senate bill. But House leaders may decide to amend the Senate bill to remove the health provisions, pass it again with just Republican support, and return it to the Senate for another vote, said a senior Republican aide who asked not to be identified.

All of this must happen before Saturday, or lawmakers will need another stopgap measure – even just for a few days – that would force them to return to Washington after the Christmas holiday.

The current House bill includes the full defense appropriations bill for 2018, short-term funding until Jan. 19 for all other government functions, a House version of an insurance program for children, a health bill for veterans and $81 billion in supplemental funds for disaster relief.

In remarks on the floor on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., indicated the Obamcare marketplace stabilization provisions will be in the spending bill.

“Of particular importance – faced with the continued failure of Obamacare to keep health insurance affordable for working Americans, we must take this opportunity to pass bipartisan solutions that will help stabilize collapsing health insurance markets and lower premiums for individuals and families across the country,” he said.

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