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."



The Big Dog's back

Conservatives and teathuglicans wanting to destroy the country. Imagine that.

Darwin's choice

Still suking on the Obama teat, eh?

Hey, dog, why is your leader Obama still raising monies on his campaign website under the "Organizing for action" lies? What's he campaigning for?

There you go again

Someone needs to tell Obama that the election is over and it is time to act on his promises to ......lower unemployment, no tax increases, close Gitanamo, fix immigration, and the list goes on.

Darwin's choice


Just plain old communist...

Plenty of more up to date labels for the left wing extremist now running that party


Fox News filler for the empty heads.

Darwin's choice

Ok cheerleader, why is Obama still campaigning for money? "Organizing for action" ....! This should be criminal!


Your statements are lies.
Anyone with any sense can see that.
Stay on topic , Fox News robot.

Darwin's choice

Defer, deflect, deny....democrats!


@ DC:

Ask him from where he derives his health care.

Coaster's is public and GUARANTEED by OH taxpayers.

Dog says that his is from an employer.

Both deertracker & 4shizzle won't answer - but they LOVE Obama☭are!

Think maybe they're on Medicaid?


Think what you want.


Re: "want"

So your health care benefits are provided how?

So WHY do you LOVE Obama☭are?


Defer, deflect, deny , DESTROY = republicans.


Re: "Defer, deflect,"

So your health care benefits are provided how?

So WHY do you LOVE Obama☭are?

The Big Dog's back

1) Can't be denied healthcare for a pre-existing condition.
2) Out of pocket expenses will be lower.
3) Is affordable for everyone.
4) Medicare is improved for Seniors by eliminating the "donut hole".


Re: "Can't,"

Price, quality & service - ya can't have all three.

Only in the economic fantasyland of Obama☭are is it possible.

Fourth request: So is your employer public or private?

The Big Dog's back

You just can't handle the truth.


Re: "You"

But you enjoy sucking off your employer's teet for health care ins. don't you?

Only the "losers" have to use the exchanges - lucky you.

Is your employer public or private?


4shizzle must watch a lot of Fox News.

Yellow Snow

How much $$ can be spent before the repo. man comes breaking down the door? Taxes are at historically low levels today, but so are wages. Get America working, the tax revenue will flow. I don't want to see my taxes raised, I want people to get back to work.

Stop It

Dock their pay. No workie, no payee.

Erie County Resident

How can as Dogs Backend says Republicans destroy something that the Democraps at Obama's direction have already mostly destroyed?

Shut it down and leave it down until the Chicago thug politicians are gone.
Obama started this using strong arm backdoor deals. So why can't the other side use the same tactics to fight back?
Democraps don't like to recieve what they serve. After all they are now trying to let the U.N run our countries Constitution also.

Yellow Snow


The Big Dog's back

The teahadists or Al TeaQuada, have already used terrorist tactics. I think the Gov should declare them foreign combatants.


Nothing major gets shut down anyhow. Not the mail, not the airports or police and fire, it's all smoke and mirrors.

Obama the hypocrit will not meet in the middle but wants everyone to do what he says. Hypocrite. Stay strong. Shut it all down.


Affordable Care Act was approved by Congress and signed into law by the Pressident few years back. It was challenged in the courts and the Supreme Court upheld the law.

"Some" Republicans just will not give up !!!! It's pure eyewash to their campaign contributers. Let's face fact their is no way the Affordable Care Act is going to go's here to stay. If some Republicans want to obstruct it by shutting down the government then let them do it. It's going to backfire on Republicans and they are going to be blamed.

Ironically, for years and years some Republicans have fought Medicare that originated back with President Johnson. They have fought it and fought for years. Only in the last few years have they given up and WHY ??? because they have realized over half the majority of Republicans are on Medicare. Remember the description of the Republican party when Obama won....they are mainly old white men and alas those old white men are over 65 and on Medicare.

So Republicans shut down the government and just be further and further away from ever winning the White House. Then run the real risk of losing your majority the House in 2014. As I say some Republicans are just playing to their contributors and are willing to shut down the government to play to their wishes.


Hillary 2016 !


You rock, Gardenman :)


Slavery was once the law of the land, and it was repeatedly upheld.

Prohibition was once the law of the land, and it was upheld.

Women were forbade to vote. Unions were illegal. Religious dissent was persecuted (and unprotected all the while).

If "the law of the land" and/or "upheld" bears meaning with Obamacare, then we need to repeal all of the repeals of those previous very, VERY bad laws and go back to the notion that once a law is passed, everyone must obey it forever and ever, amen.


The Big Dog's back

sam, I missed the law in the Constitution that said you had to have slaves. As a matter of fact I don't recall any law that said you had to have slaves.


Piddle puppy, where did Sam say that you had to have slaves? Slaves were legal to own... at one time. Sam never wrote that you had to have them. Comprehension is not something you are good at, is it? I am NOT surprised by that.