Yawn. House GOP passses CR guaranteed to shut down the government
House Republicans passed a continuing resolution on Saturday that funds government operations through December while delaying Obamacare's individual mandate by a year and repealing the medical device tax.
The Senate is expected to take up the CR on Monday afternoon - far too late to avoid a shutdown even if the Dems had a magical change of heart and voted for it. Since that is not going to happen, and since House Republicans are standing firm - so far - in their efforts to prevent Obamacare from being implemented, we appear to have reached an impasse in efforts to fund the government.
Harry Reid says no deal on delaying Obamacare. Ditto says the president. The irresistable force has met the immovable object, making it impossible to say what the endgame will be.
House Republicans forced through a short-term government funding bill that delays Obamacare and permanently repeals a tax on medical devices, setting up their most dramatic face-off ever with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats.
The vote to delay Obamacare was 231-192, with two Republicans voting against the bill, while two Democrats supported it. The Republicans opposed to the bill were New York Reps. Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna, and the Democrats who supported the measure were North Carolina Rep. Mike McInytre and Utah Rep. Jim Matheson.
he move represents a complete about-face by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and the House Republican leadership. They wanted to shift the focus of health care and budgetary squabbles onto the debt ceiling fight, but conservative Republicans honed in on the government funding battle.
This strategy - forced upon Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) by the conservative rank-and-file - dramatically increased the chances of a government shutdown come Oct. 1.
Boehner didn't speak on the House floor during the debate before the amendments passed.
"The House has again passed a plan that reflects the American people's desire to keep the government running and stop the president's health care law," Boehner said in a post-vote statement. Repealing the medical device tax will save jobs and delaying the president's health care law for all Americans is only fair given the exemptions the White House has granted to big businesses and insurance companies."
He added: "Now that the House has again acted, it's up to the Senate to pass this bill without delay to stop a government shutdown."
The House also passed a separate funding measure for the Pentagon so that the troops can be paid. And they passed a "conscience clause" that would delay implementation of the birth control mandate until 2015.
President Obama swears that the state insurance exchanges will open on October 1 "no matter what." Really? What if the report due tomorrow by the tech wizards at HHS who have been evaluating the security of those websites is a big, fat, negative? This puts the president in the position of saying, "C'mon America! Sign up for your insurance even though the chances that some hacker is going to steal your personal information is a virtual certainty!"
That will play well with the public.
This is a fight that, at the end, there is going to be a clear winner, and a clear loser. Someone is going to fold. The shutdown won't be too bad as long as it doesn't last more than a few days. But you can bet the White House will use its discretionary power to put the hurt on the Amercan people to get them screaming for relief. It didn't work when they tried similar tactics with the sequester. But a shutdown is different. Eventually, there will be hundreds of thousands of federal workers being furloughed and a lack of monies for subsidies and other popular programs with voters.
Exit question: Who will blink?