Democrats, GOP in shutdown staredown

Republicans willing to take risk to kill health care law
Associated Press
Sep 29, 2013

As the government teeters on the brink of a partial shutdown, congressional Republicans vowed Sunday to keep using an otherwise routine government funding bill to try to attack "Obamacare."

Congress was closed for the day after a post-midnight vote in the GOP-run House to delay by a year key parts of the new health care law and repeal a tax on medical devices, in exchange for avoiding a shutdown. The Senate is slated to convene Monday afternoon just hours before the shutdown deadline, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has already promised that majority Democrats will kill the House's latest volley.

Since the last government shutdown 17 years ago, temporary funding bills known as continuing resolutions have been noncontroversial, with neither party willing to chance a shutdown to achieve legislative goals it couldn't otherwise win. But with health insurance exchanges set to open on Tuesday, tea-party Republicans are willing to take the risk in their drive to kill the health care law.

The action in Washington was limited mainly to the Sunday talk shows and barrages of press releases as Democrats and Republicans rehearsed arguments for blaming each other if the government in fact closes its doors at midnight Monday.

"You're going to shut down the government if you can't prevent millions of Americans from getting affordable care," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

"The House has twice now voted to keep the government open. And if we have a shutdown, it will only be because when the Senate comes back, Harry Reid says, 'I refuse even to talk,'" said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who led a 21-hour broadside against allowing the temporary funding bill to advance if stripped clean of a tea party-backed provision to derail Obamacare. The effort ultimately failed.

The battle started with a House vote to pass the short-term funding bill with a provision that would have defunded implementation of the health care overhaul. The Senate voted along party lines to strip that out and lobbed the measure back to the House. The latest House measure, passed early Sunday by a near party-line vote of 231-192, sent back to the Senate two key changes: a one year delay of key provisions of the health insurance law and repeal of a new tax on medical devices that partially funds it, steps that still go too far for The White House and its Democratic allies on Capitol Hill.

Senate rules often make it difficult to act quickly, but the chamber can act on the House's latest proposals by simply calling them up and killing them on a nondebatable motion.

Eyes were already turning to the House Sunday for its next move. One of its top leaders vowed it would not simply give in to Democrats' demands to pass the Senate's "clean" funding bill.

"The House will get back together in enough time, send another provision not to shut the government down, but to fund it, and it will have a few other options in there for the Senate to look at again," said the No. 3 House Republican leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California. "We are not shutting the government down."

McCarthy wouldn't say what changes Republicans might make. He appeared to suggest that a very short-term measure might pass at the last minute, but GOP aides said that was unlikely. And rumors Saturday night that GOP leaders might include a provision to deny lawmakers and staff aides their employer health care contributions from the government had cooled by Sunday afternoon. Lawmakers and congressional aides are required to purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges but the administration has taken steps to make sure they continue to receive their 72 percent employer contribution.

Republicans argued that Reid should have convened the Senate on Sunday to act on the measure.

"If the Senate stalls until Monday afternoon instead of working today, it would be an act of breathtaking arrogance by the Senate Democratic leadership," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "They will be deliberately bringing the nation to the brink of a government shutdown."

In the event lawmakers blow the Monday deadline, about 800,000 workers would be forced off the job without pay. Some critical services such as patrolling the borders, inspecting meat and controlling air traffic would continue. Social Security benefits would be sent and the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs for the elderly and poor would continue to pay doctors and hospitals.

The Senate was not scheduled to meet until midafternoon Monday, 10 hours before a shutdown would begin, and even some Republicans said privately they feared that Reid holds the advantage in the fast-approaching end game.

Republicans argued that they had already made compromises; for instance, their latest measure would leave intact most parts of the health care law that have taken effect, including requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions and to let families' plans cover children up to age 26. They also would allow insurers to deny contraception coverage based on religious or moral objections.

Democrats countered that Republicans were seizing a routine funding measure and holding it hostage, seeking leverage to unfairly jam Democrats into making concessions. Democrats were confident they could hold firm, and some more senior Republicans acknowledged that the situation is rife with political risk for their party.

But tea party forces in the House — egged on by Cruz — forced GOP leaders to abandon an earlier plan to deliver a "clean" stopgap spending bill to the Senate and move the fight to another must-do measure looming in mid-October: a bill to increase the government's borrowing cap to avert a market-rattling, first-ever default on U.S. obligations.

McCarthy appeared on "Fox News Sunday," while Cruz was on NBC's "Meet the Press." Van Hollen appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation."




Re: "Lets keep printing and spending our way to oblivion."

What Ludwig von Mises wrote:

"The question is only whether one should continue expansionism until the final collapse of the whole monetary and credit system or whether one should stop at an earlier date. The sooner one stops, the less grievous are the damages inflicted and the losses suffered."

Dr. Information

Price of services will go up with Obamacare due to one simple thing. The medical device tax to fund this mess. That along with the other MANY hidden taxes in this thing.




Obviously you have been listening to too much Rush and Sean for you are just giving us the rehash of these guys from today and really the past 5 years. Only difference is they get quite hansomely for spouting the lines they do and you well like I get paid nothing.

Dr. Information

Haven't listened to them ever. How typical of you to post such a typical comment. Talk about being a rhetorical puppet


I always find it interesting how the Republican conservaties just a year ago spun the presidential election. It was tauted oh the debt, oh my the debt, it's terrible what we are doing to saddle our next generation and those yet unborn with huge debt.

The whole message was DOA with the young voters (under 35 yo) the very one they were trying to attract. What resonated and got Obama re elected was the Affordable Health Care Act, student loans kept at a low interest rate, extended job benefits, etc. Yet on and on went the Conservatives " the world is coming to an end, and US economy will collapse" What collapsed was the Republicans chance of gaining the White House. There was no huge gain by them in either House either.

So drive on Republicans,,,,,,,,,shut down the government tomorrow, show your stuff and make it harder for Americans to receive the services they paid for in their taxes just a few months ago Then see who they blame in November 2014, Your actions will be remembered by the voters. You will have a lot more folks though to tell us the world is coming to an end for they will be joined by out of office Senators and Representatives.

HA HA it's so humorous,,,,those Conservatives lose ir over and over on ACA but by gosh they will fight it to their last breath no matter the cost to the Republican Party.

Darwin's choice

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills,” Obama said [pdf] in March 2006. “It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. Over the past five years, our federal debt has increased by $3.5 trillion to $8.6 trillion. That is ‘trillion’ with a ‘T.’ That is money that we have borrowed from the Social Security trust fund, borrowed from China and Japan, borrowed from American taxpayers.”

Update...that figure is now 17.4 Trillion, Thanks to Obama !

Read more:


You can blame more that Obama,,,,GWB ran a huge debt up with his unneeded war in Iraq. No matter the party, no matter the president the debt has risen. We criticize the debt BUT YOU and many others are all benefiting from that money spent that created the debt.

We all are driving on roads that the Federal goveronment appropriated money for to be built and repaired. Stimulous dollars are all over Erie County....look at the brand new windows at Huron High School that was all stimulous dollars, Look at the infrastructure work done in Sandusky that was all stimulors dollars and you too like the upgrades. I am looking right now at my good Republican across the street and he is a huge anti Obama supporter. Yet the guy could not wait ....yes could not wait to get to Mathews Ford to turn in his 10 year old Fort van for a new car in the Cash for Clunkers that Democrats passed in Congress. The guy got out of his car on his first drive home from the Mathews and within 10 minutes was bashing the President and the Democrats for spending us into debt. $4000 of that debt was sitting in his driveway. Another neighbor down the street had a new Chevy in her driveway with a $4000 check from US Government in Cash for Clunkers but has a "Don't Blame me...I voted for McCain poster in her window," Yet on their drives set brand new cars because Democrats in Congress and the President helped them to buy them. There Republican friends said NO to the Cash for Clunkers bill.

So don't tell me it's Obama it's every president regardless of party who plays to the people who voted for them.

By no means are the Republicans lily white and God's Gift to Wise Spending in Washington.

Darwin's choice

Better check your facts, since Obama has been in office, the 85 billion thats being printed monthly, is solely his doing. 8 Trillion more in the national debt, since his election, and you democrats keep blaming Bush!

You're laughable, and sadly, the reason the country is so divided
Also, that farce "stimulus" program, was about as successful as the "Solyndra" program. You remember that? Hundreds of millions out the window! Go democrats!

Dr. Information

Sounds like typical CNN talk.


Re: "make it harder for Americans to receive the services they paid for in their taxes,"

$3T on the Fed's balance sheets (QE) has been helping to prop up this corrupt hedge fund of a govt.

Not-to-worry, the govt. won't shut down for long, the debt ceiling will be raised and all the good little tax, borrow, print and spenders like Paul Krugman can go back to overseeing the inevitable fiscal, financial and monetary collapse of the U.S. Govt.

$17 Trillion? H*ll, why not $20, $30, $40, or $100 trillion???

Let's borrow, tax, print and spend our country back to prosperity!!!

Really are you ...

Stop and look around. Why are we in this dire situation in the first place? Thriving companies looking to pay less in hourly wages, looking to pay less in taxes. The worker is working for less in wages, new jobs are mostly part time hours. The worker has less to spend, so there is less in taxes. You are taxed when you earn your paycheck, and you are taxed on everything you spend your money on except grocery food.

It is a bum deal. Cut the lobbiests and special interest groups ties in DC. Bring our jobs back to the States. Put the enemployed back to work, put the people who gave up looking for employment back to work. Stop trying to be the worlds police. One of the rules I had to abide by when I was in the military was from the Geneva Convention, I will not fire at, unless fired upon. Syria did not fire the chemical weapons at the United States. Which makes perfect sense why we should stay put of Syria's civil war. Then guess what. Unemployment will go down, tax revenue will increase without raising taxes. Job seekers and ETSing veterans will be able to find quality jobs. But instead let's just bicker at each other. It is easy and makes sense.


Re: "Cut the lobbiests and special interest groups ties in DC."

The "Iron Triangle" of govt. (bureaucrats & elected officials), industry (public & private) and paid lobbyists ain't gonna go away.


Remember: YOUR "special interest" representative, MY "lobbyist."


SHOULD read:

Remember: MY "special interest" representative, MY "lobbyist."


Re: "MY 'special interest' representative, MY 'lobbyist.'"

So disallow labor unions from having "special interest" reps in DC or funneling money to Democrats eh?




I agree let it go and let the Republicans take the blame. Let Americans far and wide understand who caused this and by all means get the spelling right.....Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and all the others. When those citizens of Texas and Kentucky are getting closed doors on federal government services and it begins to pinch they will think twice before they elect these two and other ultra conservatives to Congress,

Darwin's choice

Do you and Big Dog/4shizzle share the same drinking bowl/urinal? Wow !!
You've got it hook,line and sinker.


And alas if you had your way all would be good and no problems what so ever in the country and the world. It those wwho stand on the sidenad criticize those in leadership but should they ever be in that position they don't have the slightest idea what to do.


Right, if they had their way , the world would be such a wonderful place.
They've had their way - that's why everything is mucked up.


Not all of government will shut down. Just some services, like National Parks & Museums, as an example. But over time, the longer it takes for a Budget agreement, the more the drag on the economy from out-of-work government employees.

Dr. Information

So your solution via a business approach is to borrow more to pay the bills we cannot pay. Hope you don't own a business with that approach because you won't last long.

Dr. Information

Its amazing how that nasty little 4 letter word never comes out of any Democratic mouth. Cuts


Re: "Cuts"

AND, if I may repeat myself:

Pres. Obama ordered the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Simpson-Bowles) in order to get a handle on rising federal debt and then IGNORED their recommendations.

Fact: If this economy were in good shape, the Federal Reserve would not have kept interest rates at 0% and practiced quantitative easing (QE) for FIVE yrs.

Good news: The S&P pulled out a 4.5% increase for the third quarter!

Thanks to the Federal Resv. the rich continue to get richer.

The Big Dog's back

Cuts? Cut subsidies to business. Cut subsidies to rich farmers. Make taxes on capital gains the same as income. Charge the jokers on Wall Street a tax to cover all the people and agencies that are suppose to keep them legal.


Re: "Cut subsidies,"

Continue livin' in fantasyland.

Pres. Obama continues to pay lip service to his useful idiots, while he's OK with the Federal Resv. keeping the U.S. economy limping along and the rich get richer.

Dr. Information

You do realize that capital gains tax is about equal to the federal tax rate don't you? Or maybe you don't. Lol

Yeah let's kill more business and stagger this already faulting Obama economy.

Your policy or lack of is showing

The Big Dog's back

The only difference between radical Muslims and radical teathuglicans is that the radical Muslims die for their cause to kill massive amounts of people. Teathuglicans kill massive amounts of people legislatively by cutting food stamps, trying to take healthcare away from people, and torpedoing the economy.


Last time significant cuts in food stamps was under Clinton... he signed the bill to do so. Was Slick Willy one of those radical teathuglicans you are talking about? History seems to bite you in the a$$ quite often. Was there massive amounts of people hurt when Slick Willy cut food stamps? Was the economy torpedoed? Bet we don't get an answer from the Piddle Puppy.

The Big Dog's back