GOP freshman Keith Rothfus has signed onto a letter -- pushed by the Tea Party wing of the party -- asking John Boehner to defund Obamacare by stripping out any of its funding from the federal budget.
Groups such as Heritage Action and Freedomworks have been publicly pushing Republican legislators in the House to sign onto the letter from fellow freshman Mark Meadows of North Carolina on the defunding move. Heritage launched a $550K online campaign Monday pushing Pa's Lou Barletta, Tim Murphy, Bill Shuster and Glenn Thompson to sign on, but they did not: within the state delegation it appears (because the signatures are hard to read) that only Rothfus, Tom Marino, Scott Perry and Joe Pitts did.
A similar letter is going around the Senate, which Rothfus' mentor Pat Toomey did not sign (for reasons he explained here). Heritage is bringing its defunding-or-else town hall tour to Pittsburgh next week.
The letter to Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been expected for a couple days -- now that it's finally out, as Politico notes, its language stops short of promising a government shutdown if defunding isn't accomplished. The 80 signers say "we urge you to affirmatively de-fund the implementation and enforcement of ObamaCare in any relevant appropriations bill brought to the House floor in the 113th Congress, including any continuing appropriations bill."
As we've noted before, Rothfus is among the most conservative members of the conservative House and even if he didn't explicitly put his John Hancock under a promise to shut down the government, his critics at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee want to tie him to that drive. It released a statement saying "Rothfus is willing to shut down our entire government over his partisan ideology – putting a radical agenda ahead of the economy, jobs and the middle class."
Rothfus is also a co-sponsor of a bill by Georgia's Tom Graves pushed by conservative activists calling for full Affordable Care Act defunding.