Washington (CNN) – Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pennsylvania, said Monday his party's strategy to chisel away at Obamacare through the short-term spending bill has been unsuccessful, and he's urging his colleagues to work with Democrats and avert a government shutdown.
"At this point, the hourglass is nearly empty," he told CNN. "I think now it's imperative that we just fund the government, get on with the business of governing."
Members of Congress have just hours before a midnight deadline when they must reach an agreement on a bill to fund the government and avert a shutdown.
The House originally attached legislation to the spending bill, also known as a continuing resolution, that would defund the president's signatures health care law. When the Democratic-controlled Senate stripped those provisions, the House then passed a bill that would delay, not defund, Obamacare and would repeal the medical device tax.
The Senate kicked a "clean" continuing resolution back to the House Monday afternoon, meaning it has no language that makes changes to Obamacare.
Once the ball is back in the House's court, Dent said he will discourage GOP leadership "from launching another volley back over to the Senate."
"I suspect it would not be successful," he said. "I voted to repeal, delay, defund Obamacare. I have all sorts of problems with the health care law. But I also realize it's not going to be changed between now and the end of the day."
The big problem for House Speaker John Boehner, and the main reason he has kept this going despite knowing the Senate would reject it, is because he knows how angry it will make many conservatives who want to keep fighting. Allowing a bill to pass with the help of Democrats would be an act of betrayal for many in the grassroots, and some in his own caucus.
While Dent said an overwhelming majority of House Republicans have a strong "sense of governance," there are a "few dozen who don't have that same sense," referring to the roughly 30-40 House conservative Republicans who have been leading the anti-Obamacare fight.
"So we're just going to have to get on with the business, pass a bipartisan bill and keep the government running," he said.
"I suspect there are close to 200 members of the House Republican conference who want to see a clean CR passed. I'm not saying there'd be 200 voting for it, but certainly there are that many who want to see it happen," he said. "There are many who are hoping yes, and will vote no."
- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.