Saturday, September 28, 2013

SHOWDOWN !

Quick Update: It appears as though the House of Representatives could vote on a Continuing Resolution as early as this evening that would do the following:

  1. Defund/Delay Full Implementation of Obamacare until 2015
  2. Continue current government spending levels through December 15, 2013 (the bill that passed the Senate changed the date to Nov. 15 - this bill changes it back to Dec. 15)
  3. Repeal the Medical Device Tax
  4. Ensure the military gets paid in the event that the Senate doesn't act to keep the government running.
This bill will likely be voted on tonight and would then be sent to the Senate. The Senate is adjourned until Monday, so they likely will not take up this bill until Monday. This could put pressure on Democrats to vote for this bill to avert a government shutdown. (Tea Party Patriots newsletter)

House Leaves U.S. on Brink of Shutdown
NEW YORK TIMES
By JONATHAN WEISMAN and JEREMY W. PETERS
Published: September 28, 2013
WASHINGTON — The federal government on Saturday barreled toward its first shutdown in 17 years after House Republicans, choosing a hard line, demanded a one-year delay of President Obama’s health care law and the repeal of a tax to pay for the law before approving any funds to keep the government running.Republicans emerged from a closed-door meeting Saturday unified and confident that they had the votes to delay the health care law and eliminate a tax on medical devices that partly pays for it. But before the House had even voted, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, declared the House bill dead. Senate Democrats are planning to table the Republican measures when they convene on Monday, leaving it up to the House to pass a stand-alone spending bill free of any measures that undermine the health care law.

The House’s action all but assured that large parts of the government would be shuttered as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday. More than 800,000 federal workers deemed nonessential faced furloughs; millions more could be working without paychecks.

A separate House Republican bill would also ensure that military personnel continued to be paid in the event of a government shutdown, an acknowledgment that a shutdown was likely. The health law delay and the troop funding bill were set for House passage Saturday.

“The American people don’t want a government shutdown, and they don’t want Obamacare,” House Republican leaders said in a statement. “We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown.”

Representative Darrell Issa, a powerful Republican committee chairman who is close to the leadership but has sided with those who want to gut the health care law, flashed anger when asked what would happen when the Senate rejected the House’s offer.

“How dare you presume a failure?” he snapped. “We continue to believe there’s an opportunity for sensible compromise and I will not accept from anybody the assumption of failure.”

But Mr. Reid made it clear that failure was inevitable. “After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at Square 1,” he said. “We continue to be willing to debate these issues in a calm and rational atmosphere. But the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists.”

The White House was just as blunt. “Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown,” the press secretary, Jay Carney, said in a written statement. The White House also said that the president would veto the House bill if approved by the Senate.

In fact, many House Republicans acknowledged that they expected the Senate to reject the House’s provisions, making a shutdown all but assured. House Republicans were warned repeatedly that Senate Democrats would not accept any changes to the health care law.

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio faced a critical decision this weekend: Accept a bill passed by the Senate on Friday to keep the government funded and the health care law intact and risk a conservative revolt that could threaten his speakership, or make one more effort to undermine the president’s signature domestic initiative and hope that a shutdown would not do serious political harm to his party.

With no guarantee that Democrats would help him, he chose the shutdown option. The House’s unruly conservatives had more than enough votes to defeat a spending bill that would not do significant damage to the health care law, unless Democrats were willing to bail out the speaker. And Democrats showed little inclination to alleviate the Republicans’ intraparty warfare.

“The federal government has shut down 17 times before, sometimes when the Democrats were in control, sometimes with divided government,” said Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina. “What are we doing on our side of the aisle? We’re fighting for the American people.”