Countdown: GOP unity frays as shutdown grows near

Some Republicans think revised legislation does not go far enough in delaying Obamacare
Associated Press
Sep 30, 2013


Their unity fraying, House Republicans bent but did not blink Monday in their demand for changes in the nation's health care overhaul as the price for preventing the first partial government shutdown in 17 years.

"We're at the brink," said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., moments after the Senate voted 54-46 to reject the latest GOP attempt to tie government financing to delays in "Obamacare."

The stock market dropped on fears that political gridlock between the White House and a tea party-heavy Republican party would prevail.

As lawmakers squabbled, President Barack Obama urged them to "act responsibly and do what's right for the American people." At the White House, he said he was willing to discuss long-term budget issues with members of Congress, and expected to do soon. But, he added, "The only way to do that is for everybody to sit down in good faith without threatening to harm women and veterans and children with a government shutdown."

In a fast-paced series of events, the Senate voted 54-46 to reject a House-passed measure that would have kept the government open while delaying implementation of the health care law for a year and permanently repealing a medical device tax that helps finance it.

House Republicans, reacting swiftly, decided to try again. Their new proposal was to allow the government to remain open, while imposing a one-year delay in a requirement in the health care law for individuals to purchase coverage or face a financial penalty. Their measure also would require members of Congress to bear the full cost of their own coverage by barring the government from making the customary employer contribution.

"This is a matter of funding the government and providing fairness to the American people," said Speaker John Boehner. "Why wouldn't members of Congress vote for it?"

Asked if a stand-alone spending bill was still possible instead, he said, "That's not going to happen."

Democrats said the House GOP measure was doomed in the Senate, and would meet the same fate as every other attempt to delay the law that passed in 2010 and was upheld by the Supreme Court.

A shutdown would cause an uneven impact across the face of government, sending hundreds of thousands of workers home and inconveniencing millions of Americans who rely on government services or are drawn to the nation's parks and other attractions.

Many low-to-moderate-income borrowers and first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays.

About 800,000 federal workers, many already reeling from the effect of automatic budget cuts, would be ordered to report to work Tuesday for about four hours — but only to carry out shutdown-related chores such as changing office voicemail messages and completing time cards. Once they departed, they would be under orders not to do any government work.

With less financial impact but important to many viewers, a camera that feeds images of a new-born panda at the National Zoo would be shut down.

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.

Ironically, the issue at the core of the dispute, implementation of key parts of "Obamacare," will begin Tuesday on schedule, shutdown or no.

Among Republicans, some said the revised legislation did not go far enough in seeking to delay a law that all members of the party oppose and want to see eradicated.

Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia said it felt as if Republicans were retreating, and Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia said there was not unanimity when the rank and file met to discuss a next move.

For the first time since the showdown began more than a week ago, there was also public dissent from the Republican strategy that has been carried out at the insistence of tea party-aligned lawmakers working in tandem with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa., said he was willing to vote for stand-alone legislation that would keep the government running and contained no health care-related provisions. "I would be supportive of it, and I believe the votes are there in the House to pass it at that point," the fifth-term congressman said.

Dent added he has been urging the Republican leadership to allow a vote along those lines.

A second Republican, Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado, said, "We haven't given up on Obamacare ... but for this week we may have to give up. We tried everything and Harry Reid won't budge," he said of the Senate majority leader.

Other Republicans sought to blame Democrats for any shutdown, but Dent conceded that Republicans would bear the blame, whether or not they deserved it.

The last time the government shutdown, in 1996, Republicans suffered significant political damage, and then-President Bill Clinton's political fortunes were revived in the process.

Now, as then, Republicans control the House, and senior lawmakers insist even a shutdown isn't likely to threaten their majority in the 2014 elections. "We may even gain seats," Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, who chairs the party campaign committee, said recently.

For all the controversy about other matters, the legislation in question is a spending bill — and there was little if any disagreement about the spending-related issues.

The House and Senate have agreed to fix spending for a wide swath of federal programs at an annual level of $986 billion.

Without separate legislation to make further reductions, across-the-board cuts would automatically take effect early next year that would reduce the level to $967 billion.



Any chance we can shut down oBUMa for the next 3 years?

The Big Dog's back

Nope. Next question.

JudgeMeNot's picture

The American people have made it abundantly clear that they do not want Socialist medicine in America.

And the usual flock of brain dead obamabots show up to dismiss the lies... shocker...

The Big Dog's back

OK, that's why they're getting Obamacare.

The Big Dog's back

Quit trying to rehash the November election. People voted for Obama and the ACA.

Darwin's choice

When did you vote for Obamacare? Liar

If someone just sends you a bill for something you don’t want, didn’t ask for and haven’t taken delivery of, do you pay for it or “de-fund” it?

JudgeMeNot's picture

Big Dope, what a dumb statement. Put down the Kool-aid.

And the usual flock of brain dead obamabots show up to dismiss the lies... shocker...

Darwin's choice

I'm guessing that Big Dog has conveniently forgot that the House majority that got this boondoggle swindled into law to begin with, was Democrat controlled and it got passed before anybody even read the damned thing. Remember Pelosi, "Pass it to find out what's in it?" Now the House is Republican controlled and they HAVE had time to read what's in it. They know the way to stop the bad bill is to defund it....

JudgeMeNot's picture

NO Republican supported or voted for obamacare. Dems OWN obamacare. 2014 is right around the corner.

And the usual flock of brain dead obamabots show up to dismiss the lies... shocker...


That all was true leading up to the 2012 elections. Result Obama was still the President, Democrates still had the majority in the Senate and the House was controlled by the Republicans but they lost a few seats to the Democrats.

United State Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.

Alas, its the law of the land. The only thing that offends the Republicans is that Obama a Democrat came up with it first and got it thru Congress. Just as Democrats got Social Security thru in the 1930's and Democrats got Medicare thru in President Johnson's time. No matter the year if Republicans did not come up with it and get it thru Congress and to a law then they are againist it. Does not matter what it is or what is does to help Americans the Republicans are against it for it was not their idea.

The Big Dog's back



The Supreme Court also ruled that Slavery was Constitutional. Why don't you support that decision too? And just because a Republican President put someone in the Court doesn't mean the judge is a conservative. History shows how the Democratic rule in the House and Senate forced those presidents to choose someone who could be passed by the liberal controlled houses, so technically this Supreme Court is DEMOCRATIC.

JudgeMeNot's picture

Millions of obamacare applications will be reported by the media, making it sound like the people are happily filing applications, when in fact it will be discovered soon that they are all phony, just like michelle's 2 million fake twitter followers. I will be very surprised if 10% of the population is signed up by this time next year.

And the usual flock of brain dead obamabots show up to dismiss the lies... shocker...


Shut it down!

Julie R.

I can't stand that John Boehner. He acts like he's all that and then some.

There you go again

Hmmm, I can say the same about Pelosi and Reid. But the ultimate arrogant arse is our Divider-in-Chief, Mr. Obama.


Make all of CONGRESS and the President (and family) sign up for Obamacare if it is SO GREAT. Why are they exempt from it? They all get TOP notch care on the backs of taxpayers but we are FORCED to pay for second rate care. How is that fair? Oh and they don't get paid either till this is all settled. That should light a fire under their butts to get busy. Why are they on recess if there is NO budget? Do you get to take a vacation day if you have work that is UNFINISHED?????

The Big Dog's back

Write to John Boehner (R).


Ladyeve...Because of the 27th Amendment these schmucks get their pay. What a crock. So that is a joke isn't it? I totally agree with YOU, they should go without until this is settled. What happens to these people when they get to Washington? Too many parties or what? They can't do anything right or finish a thing. It's disturbing that once in office, they just sit or run around to be in front of a camera. They don't have a clue as to what we want and do not care.

If anything but lies came out of Washington, most of us would fall over in a dead faint. LOL

The Big Dog's back

"When did you vote for Obamacare?" The same time you did when you voted against Obama. I was sent a bill for the Iraq war and I didn't vote on that.


" I was sent a bill for the Iraq war and I didn't vote on that."

A majority of the dimocrats in both houses of congress voted for the use of force in 2001. Not one repube voted for the aca.

That ought to put some acid reflux into Piddle Puppy. The truth hurts. History bites Piddle Puppy in the a$$ again.

The Big Dog's back

What's that have to do with the question I was asked arse whole?


I didn't answer your question.

I questioned your statement. The statement of yours that I quoted. Still having comprehension problems Piddle Puppy?

Darwin's choice

I didn't get asked to let michele obama spend millions on vacations either, but I'm paying for that also....Azzhat. Who's paying the bill for that?


This is all grandstanding by the Republicans. There is no way they can go day after day of a closed Federal Government. It is just not going to happen. The Republican party is going to be crucified for this by the voters. The Republican party has already begun to fray and split. This in the end will only weaken more the Republican Party and make chances very good for Democrats to take control of the House in 2014.

This whole event may well put the wheels in motion for the end of the Tea Party and these ultra conservative groups. All views have a place but these folks are just off the charts on their actions and the voters will toss them out of office.

Then look out Darwin choice.....that light at the end of the tunnel will be a speeding locomotive and headed right for you !!!

Darwin's choice

Just keep clicking your heels together, and saying, we were warned...!

Gardenfan, you really should stepaway from that toilet you're sharing with the're getting bloviated.

Darwin's choice

Also,being "off the charts" works wonders for the dems and Obama..."low iformed voters" are their backbone...!


Darwin...I don't consider myself to be a "low informed voter" but I must say that right now the Republican's don't look like a unified group any more than snails and elephants do. It appears that they are split on the subject of what should have been done and tried to mix apples and oranges and it came back to bite them in their collective butt at the moment. I am afraid they will take the majoritiy of heat on this one. You cannot fight a battle that was already won (Obamacare) in the Supreme Court and expect to get rid of it be defunding it through the budget. It won't work. Its a LAW. Sorry, bad planning. And let me remind you it began as a REPUBICAN effort, not a Democratic one.

So this fiasco will be laid squarely at the feet of the Republicans. How they handle it will be what the American people feel about them and how they will vote in near and far elections to come.

I hope the Republicans realize that. They haven't been too big on reading America of late. They need to get this one right.

By the way....I didn't vote for Obama. I did a write in candidate.

Dr. Information

Typical cnn rhetoric from gardenman. That's all this guy is, is a liberal network puppet.


BigDog now has to call people filthy names, typical of someone who can't stand upon facts so they resort to acting like a punk who can't deal with real life. Sad that you resort first by swearing and we all know what follows when a punks swearing doesn't win the argument. Thanks for showing you true self dog.

Dr. Information

Why did the Dems reject the houses proposal? Oh that's right be the Dems don't want their insurance messed with.

The latest House bill would have delayed the law's individual mandate while prohibiting lawmakers, their staff and top administration officials from getting government subsidies for their health care.

It's all about the Dems and their unwillingness to compromise.


What is there to compromise? Affordable Care Act is not a bill passing thru Congress coming up for a vote. This is a bill that has been passed by both Houses of Congress, sent to the President and he has signed it into law, it has been challenged in the US Supreme Court and it was determined to be constitutional by the highest court in the country. It's the law of the land......period.

This is the same as you breaking the law by going over the speed limit and when the the police officer is ready to write a ticket you say lets compromise on what the speed limit is on this road. There is no compromise what the speed limit's the law.


Gardenman....exactly. I don't think the Republican Party understands that Obamacare is LAW, not something you can play with like a slinky. Its a LAW and established as such by the Supreme Court. Trying to get rid of it by defunding it is just ridiculous. Whoever came up with that one is NUTS. You cannot defund something because you don't happen to like it. Law is law whether you want to fund it or not. Ok, I don't like the Air Force, so I am going to defund it next year. Yeah. like THAT's going to happen! LOL. It would never fly. (pardon the pun). LOL. Same thing.

The truth is they needed something to deflect the REAL problem, they cannot come up with a closer to balance budget like they wanted. Their "cutbacks" were not their. Appropriations is difficult and they wanted to cut back on SOMETHING but has little to nothing to cut and they used defunding Obamacare to cut back on. They missed it.

So cut something else. You watch. Its going to be Social Security that gets cut back.....then VA.


Re: "Trying to get rid of it by defunding it is just ridiculous."

Yea, not to worry.

Obama☭are is so d*mn unworkable and economically impossible that it'll "defund" itself.

Pres. Obama ordered "Simpson-Bowles" and then IGNORED their recommendations. The guy only pays lip service to fiscal responsibility.

Without the Federal Reserve, foreigners and private money managers buying U.S. debt - this country would be in the ICU.

Being the largest debtor nation in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD is not something to be proud of.


Whatever happens, just don't shut down the Panda Cams!