Reid's ultimatum to House: Pass a 'clean' CR or face government shutdown
A line has been drawn and the Senate Democrats have crossed it.
Harry Reid issued an ultimatum to Speaker Boehner telling him to pass the Senate version of the continuing resolution with the Obamacare defunding measure excised or face a partial government shut down on Tuesday.
"I want everyone to listen and to hear: The United States Senate has acted," Reid said on the Senate floor. "This is the only legislation that can avert a government shutdown, and that time is ticking as we speak."
Reid's made the statement just before closing down the Senate until 2 p.m. Monday.
"In the meantime ... if Speaker [John] Boehner [R-Ohio] wants to avoid a government shutdown, he will pass our resolution," he said. "Otherwise, it's a government shutdown."
Reid thanked Senate Republicans and Democrats for voting to end debate on the bill today. Twenty-five Republicans joined every Senate Democrat in voting to end debate, even though Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) warned that vote would let Democrats strip language from the bill to defund ObamaCare.
Reid said House Republicans should think "long and hard" over the weekend about how to proceed and said the American people deserve more than a Congress that lurches from crisis to crisis.
The House meets Saturday to consider its next steps on the Senate bill, which funds the government through Nov. 15.
On Thursday, it appeared that Boehner had a strategy to pass the Senate version of the CR and concentrate all the leverage the GOP had on the vote to raise the debt limit. The leadership loaded up a debt limit bill with all sorts of conservative priorities, and threw in a one year delay in the Obamacare individual mandate.
But in a conference call with House hard liners, Ted Cruz scotched that idea and told his friends in the House to vote against Boehner's plan. So much for the Boehner strategy.
Ted Cruz now holds the whip hand in the House. Strangely, he appears to be little more than a fringe player in the Senate. Two thirds of Senate Republicans ignored his self-admitted futile effort to defund Obamacare - a sign that Cruz's scorched earth jihad against Senate Republicans who don't agree with him achieved the goal of isolating him in the upper body.