The House Republicans set themselves up for another showdown Senate Democrats early this morning by approving a spending bill that would temporarily prevent a government shutdown Tuesday. The bill, which would only provide federal funds through December 15th, however, includes measures that demand a one-year delay of Obamacare and repeal of the medical device tax.
The Obamacare delay amendment passed 231-192, and the vote on the medical device tax, which would help cover the costs of Obamacare, was 248-174. The House also unanimously passed a bill to fund the military in the event of a shutdown.
However, there is little chance that it will meet with Senate approval according to upper chamber Majority Leader Harry Reid who states that “Today’s vote by House Republicans is pointless. 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,"
Even if they somehow changed their minds, any measure to delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax would be vetoes by Obama, himself, who is demanding that the legislators pass a spending bill “without riders attached.”
"The President has shown that he is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway to deal with our fiscal challenges, but he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement. "Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown."
Despite the above comments, congressional leaders will pass the bill on to the senate tomorrow.
"We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown," stated House Republican leaders Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers jointly.
In the meantime, Senate Democrats passed their own bill Friday that would only extend current spending levels only through Nov. 15, in the hope that they can still hammer out an acceptable plan for both parties during that time that would replace the automatic, sequestration cuts now in effect before the year ends.