Transcript for GOP Representatives May Block Senate Shutdown Fix
This is a special report from ABC news. -- -- I'm -- cuts -- New York with this ABC news digital special report the senate is counting down literally. To a government -- Chuck Schumer Harry Reid's senate Democrats voting right now in the middle of a vote on a bill that would fund the government. And the president's Affordable Care Act house Republicans. It's funding for the health care law in the continuing resolution that they sent to the senate but Reid the majority leader from Nevada. Added that provision back. And with Republicans lacking the votes to filibuster -- will Nelson that clean bill back to the house so. For more on what happens next and another potential deadlock in the making. That's -- ABC's Karen Travers in Washington Karen. Good afternoon Dan house Republican leaders aren't saying much today they said yesterday they're gonna wait and see. What the senate passes basically to see what bill they're getting sent back to them before they start talking about what their plans are but at that point. What happens next is really anybody's guess. Today the senate is -- to pass -- -- that keep the government running temporarily. But it also keeps the health care law funded this is not a game. And hopefully we're not children. Hopefully we are responsible adult. I believe what we're doing today is responsible. The house passed its version last week that -- defund obamacare and Republican leaders say they're not going to except with the senate sends back. I don't I do not see that happen. Yesterday president Obama's had helped us through this day and it shouldn't be used as a political hot potato with government. Funding on the lines some up threatened a government shutdown -- that can't shut down this law. -- -- -- -- Another fiscal crisis is quickly looming on the horizon. The government will hit its credit limit on October 17 unless congress votes to raise the debt ceiling. Republicans are -- use that fight to push President Obama to agree to massive spending cuts. The president says people not -- Former President Bill Clinton told ABC -- George Stephanopoulos he agrees. If -- -- the president. -- wouldn't negotiate over. These draconian cuts this is just. Who -- and it seems almost despite. -- does shut down on October 1 federal workers will be forced to stay home museum the national parks will be closed. And some government services will stop but there's a sense here in Washington that it the government does shut down it will be short we're talking about days not weeks. -- good so potentially before we even get to that point now senators measure is playing -- Karen voting right now. They're going to send that bill with the funny in -- for the Affordable Care Act back to the house what would that happen in the house. That is the million dollar question here in Washington yesterday house speaker John Boehner was asked that several times several different ways he says look I'm just not gonna talk about it. Not conduct by the continuing resolution until the senate votes though we all knew what was going to happen we knew that this and it was going to put that funding for obamacare backing -- Pass it and send it back but at this point house Republicans are really looking at several different options they could amend that senate bill take -- of how obamacare funding back out and and that -- the senate but really -- just -- we're going back and forth on the exact same things and of course. The clock is taking. They say that they will not vote on that clean up or down spending bill they want to have something in it to force the president's hand they don't want to just say. Sure here's money let's keep the government running begins speaking of the president backed into a corner on this but we're also getting -- -- stand that. House Republicans are perhaps going on hold their powder on this fight they have a couple days left on his deadline. But there is another big deadline -- we just talked about and that -- another big deadline just in less than three weeks. That is the debt ceiling and that is the far bigger fight for house Republicans. Who really -- -- get -- government spending cuts out of that argument. And I think it seems like maybe -- getting that sense now that they're gonna lose this one the president is of course not gonna sign any bill that defund obamacare. But they might be able to get some concessions out of hand when it comes to the debt ceiling in a couple weeks -- -- -- seventeenth a big deadline -- the date that everyone's keeping our eye on the horizon but just to maybe make a point the point of desperation in the senate right now. The senate chaplain. -- -- uninteresting you prayer to open today's proceedings. He did an actually went to go back when I first saw that I feel we've heard that before from this -- -- -- basically. Praying for cooler heads to prevail and praying for a reason to step in but. You know you and I talked about this here we are with the government shut down that line just a couple months ago we were talking about the sequester cuts just a couple weeks before that we were talking about the fiscal cliff last summer we are talking about. More spending cuts and of course in 2011 it was once again the debt ceiling this keeps happening over and over again and as President Obama has said repeatedly this just cannot continue congress cannot keep. Legislating from one crisis to the next they need to come up with a better long term plan but. And that does not seem likely given how contentious things are between the democratically led senate and the Republican led house. It's that Chaplin himself measure actually right putting out the importance of that train program believe -- from deliverance from local governing. By crisis. I believe was how this morning session began. The more tension on the floor today less than 24 hours -- -- Republicans fighting. Essentially with themselves and earlier this hour Democrat majority here majority leader Harry Reid he jumped in. With some pretty tough talk for Tea Party favorites Ted -- and Mike Lee. He did -- the word of the day and the word -- in the last 24 hours is -- our guests and anarchy we heard senator Ted -- in a this is -- Tom Harkin a Democrat from -- use that earlier and then we heard Harry Reid say that and -- basically saying that the Tea Party contingent in the house is holding everybody hostage and they're trying to hold the president holds congress hostage for ransom and that is just not going to be -- and senator Harry Reid said this is essentially -- they're trying to force the government down. For some they know is not going to happen and this is some very harsh language not. Nothing -- -- heard before of course this has been. I'm very contentious between the senate Democrats and house Republicans before but really the man of the hour the really critical piece to all of this is of course house speaker John Boehner he didn't say yesterday. When asked do you anticipate a government shutdown that that's looking like a likely possibility what do you think. He said do not expect that to happen but now the trick will be how does he come up with -- paid to back that up and make that a reality he's got a hard fight within his own caucus you got that contingent of Republicans and Tea Party the extreme conservatives. Who are just not going to go along with this and they think that maybe they should just shut down the government to prove a point. Because they say Americans don't want the government shut down Americans don't want obamacare look we're doing a bill that does both so -- went there. It is a back and forth and obviously the intensity has been played out and I want to play that sound -- that from Harry Reid. But today. Republican Party has been infected by small and destructive faction that would rather cared only helps our founders -- Governed from it. These extremists are more interest in putting on the show. -- one uncle from calling clip than legislating. That's -- they prevent the senate. Taking action to avert a government shutdown last night. Put on the show today. And so from that senator Ted Cruz also. Having some very strong words obviously taking on -- president's Health Care Reform let's listen to what he said. Today. We've seen the impacts. Of obamacare. We've seen what it's doing. And Obama care. -- a train -- It is a nightmare. To use the words used by -- completely democratic author in the senate. Any union leader who previously supported Obama care. Karen the senator they're talking about the insurance exchanges that are set to open up on Tuesday to high end and they'll be at the beginning of a six month window for people to file -- insurance exchange. In what exactly is he referring to event in that statement. Yeah and then of course is something that's going to happen no matter what happens with the government shut down day on October 1 you people that do not have health insurance are going to be able to go online. In their particular state and look at a range of options for insurance plans that they can purchase -- school. And play out over the next couple of months if you do sign up in the next two and a half months I believe it is your coverage will kick in on January 1 you do have until the end of march to sign up and that's when those penalties will go into effect in you don't have health insurance you will have a tax penalty. That will go up every year that you continue to not have health insurance so those things do not change no matter what happens with the government -- And -- -- consider what the president said yesterday he was speaking outside DC in -- suburban. Maryland community college and he said. Obama care. Is the law of the land it is not going anywhere and nothing is going to change that and I think there's a sense from Democrats that -- they know Republicans want to try and repeal and they voted dozens of times and so far it hasn't been successful. But do that separately don't tie it to the government shut down don't -- -- -- government spending the basic function of government is to keep the government honing -- is not like they're going above and beyond their duties they're supposed to do this they're supposed to pass budgets. For the last couple months they have not been able to agree on and that's why we're back in this situation again. Right down to the wire. -- -- out of the wire in the Karen stay with us obviously that's the perspective both from the house and from the senate. But I wanna go outside the White House -- ABC's Mary Bruce is standing by and Mary what has been the administration's response to this back and forth -- ping -- that we've been seen. -- -- in in both chambers. I am absolutely right Howard something at a standstill over here at the White House the president is not budging. Then they've -- so far the president is in consultation with members of congress he's been talking with. With lawmakers apparently -- haven't got any specific -- of that over here but the white. Is essentially banking on the fact -- speaker Boehner will blink that ultimately house Republicans will go ahead and give in and they will agree to pass a clean bill here that doesn't include. Any of these sweeteners that they want including an effort to trying to find and delay his signature health care law but right now the for the president the White House they're holding their ground. And waiting for the Republicans to make -- -- and how closely is the White House is specifically the president working with congressional leaders. That's sort of a mystery which is interesting the White House really -- not -- any kind of public events with any lawmakers over -- the president hasn't had any meetings as far as we know with them. You know that his top aides have been in consultations his chief of staff was up on the hill earlier in the week. But so far the president has been doing any negotiating that he has been doing behind closed doors so right now all the attention is on Capitol Hill the White House is is taking a bit of a step back hoping that. But that will out work out for them politically in the -- And of course the president's state does continue as that -- is going on I just a little bit on the other side of Washington but -- just came from the president's meeting. I would India's prime minister was or any mention about the budget thousand -- sometimes when they're meeting with foreign heads of state. Oftentimes domestic issues can be brought up. Well we certainly didn't try the president unfortunately however ignored all of our shouted questions about what he's going to do to try and prevent a government shutdown as -- clock continues to take away but. He did not answer any of our questions instead he stuck. To the issues at hand talking mostly about relations between the US and India south. I have to try again. Today and try indeed and I know that you will certainly be diligent about doing that what does the White House -- they preparing for a obviously a big showdown this weekend that. -- -- -- Surprisingly has been fairly tight lipped about what the president's strategy will be over these next few days they would simply continue to say that the White House -- in consultations with members of congress that they're keeping a close eye on the but for now it's pretty much just a standoff we don't know what the president is is planning over these next few days he doesn't have any more public events but. All we can do is hope that behind these closed doors right here that he is making some phone calls and trying -- can't to prevent a government shutdown. And if in fact that this happened we know that we -- certainly be on top of it Mary thank you so much from outside of the White House we appreciate that. Of course as we do speak the senate does continue to vote to send that clean bill back to the house what will happen next. Of course anyone's decision anyone's guess at this point we have complete report on abcnews.com. For now I'm -- Cutler in New York. Because ABC news digital special report. This has been a special group. Report from me.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.