House Passes Continuing Resolution That Makes Shutdown Inevitable
As expected, the House of Representatives has passed a new Continuing Resolution that seems to make a government shutdown inevitable:
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.
The 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 bill to fund U.S. troops in case of a shutdown. The chamber further adopted a “conscience clause” that postpones until 2015 an Obamacare requirement that employers cover birth control as part of their health-insurance packages. Their funding resolution keeps government open until Dec. 15 at a level of $986 billion
As previously noted, this bill is already dead on arrival in the Senate, which isn’t even scheduled to convene until 2pm on Monday, a mere ten hours before the deadline for a a shutdown is set to expire. So, it would seem that, at least in the short term, the fate of the United States Government is sealed.