House Republicans turned up the political heat by passing a spending plan that defunds President Barack Obama's health care law, a ploy that pushes government toward shutdown and possible default.

Congress now has just nine days to breach an ideological divide and approve a short-term federal budget before several government agencies and  programmes shutter at the beginning of fiscal year 2014 on October 1.

Legislators voted on Friday along party lines 230-189 to fund government operations at current levels through December 15, setting up a showdown with the Democratic-led Senate, which will consider - and almost certainly reject - the measure next week.

Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports from Washington.

Source: Al Jazeera