House Votes to Add Obamacare Delay to Budget Bill


"Today's vote by House Republicans is pointless," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a statement. "As I have said repeatedly, the Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government funding bill or the debt ceiling."

When asked what would happen if the Senate overruled the House action for a second time in less than a week, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., came alive with anger as he spoke to reporters.

He boomed, "How dare you presume a failure? How dare you? How dare you?!"

"No one's shutting down the government except the president," he said.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, reacted sharply to the Republican proposal. She said there was still time to work together to avoid a shutdown, but said Republicans are to blame for pushing a bill that is dead-on-arrival in the Senate.

"Republicans have made their point, now we have to end it," Pelosi said. "They must abandon this dangerous path to create a Republican government shutdown."

A day after the Senate passed its funding bill with a bipartisan coalition, House Republicans settled on a three-part plan: delaying the health care law for a year and repealing a tax on medical devices that helps pay for the health care law. In a separate measure, the House will also put forward a bill that ensures members of the military still get paid if the government shuts down.

The latest wave of acrimony between Congress and the White House is even more critical because of the confluence of factors: the end of a fiscal year, the nation must raise its borrowing limit by Oct. 17, and enrollment begins in October for the Affordable Care Act.

Republicans said they believed they could persuade the Obama administration to delay the president's signature health care law, which is still highly controversial and has had a rocky start.

"We were elected in the House of Representatives to try to be financially responsible," said Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala. "We were also elected to stop socialized medicine because of the danger it poses to America and the danger it poses to our financial solvency."

The divisions inside the Republican Party have been on full display this week, particularly in the Senate, after several Republicans abandoned Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in his effort to hold up the budget bill over his push to defund Obamacare.

Not only did 25 Republicans join Democrats in opposing him, several spoke out against him in unusually blunt terms. In the House, Republicans are unified, said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., an original founder of the Tea Party caucus.

"We're excited," she said. "We're united."

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