The best is enemy of the good.
The profoundest truths are paradoxical.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
One Half Of One Third Of The US Government Threatens To Shut Washington Down
Alan: If a small minority within the political party that got trounced in 2012's presidential, House and Senate elections thinks it can take the United States hostage every few months, I say "Let's have the showdown now! Sooner is better than later." Republicans have an evident death wish. If that wish comes true, I predict "the donkeys" will win the House next year. Ted Cruz, you're a man after my own heart!
With a government shutdown less than three days away, the House is charging toward delaying Obamacare for one year and repealing the medical device tax in exchange for funding the government, several sources tell POLITICO.
A plan is expected to be finalized Saturday morning during a rare Saturday in session in the Capitol.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said the Senate will not accept any Obamacare-related changes to the Senate-passed government funding bill. So a House move in that direction would be a step toward a government shutdown.
The government shuts down Tuesday if Congress doesn’t pass a government-funding bill before then. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his top lieutenants have told Democrats there could be a vote on a continuing resolution or CR on Saturday, although that timing is still tentative. Republicans have not said what will be in that package or whether Democrats would be inclined to support it.
Boehner will meet with other House GOP leaders at 11 a.m. The House Republican Conference will hold a meeting at noon in the Capitol. The House has passed a funding bill to keep government open until Dec. 15 — but to defund Obamacare. The Senate has passed a funding bill that keeps government open until Nov. 15, but funds the health care law.
As of Saturday morning, top GOP sources said the most likely scenario was that the House would pass a CR this weekend that would delay Obamacare for one year and repeal the medical device tax. That move would, almost certainly, result in a government shutdown. Republicans could avoid a shutdown by passing a short-term CR, which would allow more time for negotiations. They could also take up the Senate’s bill, which Republican leaders have said is unlikely.
Following the Senate’s passage of a two-month funding resolution on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) warned Boehner and House Republicans that Democrats will not accept any GOP attempts to delay or defund Obamacare.
Boehner, though, is being pushed by a large bloc of Republican conservatives to do just that.
It’s a small group of conservatives that have tied the hands of Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — just enough Republicans to prevent the leadership from being able to exert its will.
That explains the fits and starts of the past few weeks. Republicans have cycled through several fiscal strategies, all of them proving flawed in the eyes of the conservative base.
Boehner tried to avert a government shutdown by seeking to direct angst over Obamacare to the debt ceiling fight, where he thought Obama would want to cut a deal that would include replacing the sequester. He first proposed using the debt ceiling vote as a backstop — something Republicans could look forward to if they didn’t get their way in the CR fight. But the rank-and-file rejected that strategy. Then, leadership sought to have a debt ceiling vote before the one on government funding. Rank-and-file Republicans rejected that as well, saying they wanted to see what the ultimate resolution in the CR battle before committing to raising the debt ceiling.
When Congress resolves this fiscal fight, another one is just a few weeks away. The debt ceiling must be lifted by Oct. 17.