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GOP Intransigence Makes Government Shutdown All But Certain

House Republicans seek one-year delay of Obamacare

Common Dreams staff

(Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

A government shutdown at the beginning of next week appears likely as developments on Capitol Hill indicated Saturday.

According to The Hill:

House Republicans plan to attach a one-year delay of ObamaCare and a repeal of its medical device to a stopgap spending bill on Saturday, a move that could ensure much of the federal government shuts down on Tuesday.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) outlined the maneuver to Republicans in a closed-door conference meeting on Saturday; members could be heard cheering outside the room in a Capitol basement.

Republican lawmakers inside the meeting chanted, "Vote! Vote! Vote!" after hearing the plan, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said.

Republicans exiting the meeting applauded Boehner's decision and said the ball was in Senate Democrats' court.

The Huffington Post reports:

The bill also would call for a full repeal of the law’s tax on medical devices, which many members on both sides of the aisle support, but which helps pay for the cost of health-care reform. Funding for military personnel and funding for the government itself until Dec. 15, 2013, also would be included.

"We are 100 percent united in this," said Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.). "It's up to the Senate if they want to shut us down."

The new House CR offer reflects the continued dominance of the conservative wing over leadership. After it became clear that the Senate would not approve the original House bill that fully delayed Obamacare, top GOP leadership aides told The Huffington Post that they were likely done trying to chip away at the president’s signature law, at least as part of a bill to fund the government. But two days later, they did just that under pressure from tea party members in their own chamber and the Senate. Cruz in particular was credited with making the second CR offer more aggressive.

And the New York Times adds:

The House is expected to vote late Saturday on the legislation, which would keep the government operating past 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday. But the Senate, controlled by Democrats, has said it will not accept changes to the health care law as a condition for keeping the government open, all but ensuring that much of the government will shut down unless lawmakers can agree on a short-term spending bill while negotiations continue.

Given statements by Democratic leaders in the Senate, however, any changes to Obamacare implementation simply won't be considered.


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