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Who'll blink? Dems, GOP in shutdown stare down

By Andrew Taylor

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 02:02 p.m. HST, Sep 29, 2013

WASHINGTON >> With the government teetering on the brink of partial shutdown, congressional Republicans vowed today to keep using an otherwise routine federal funding bill to try to attack the president's health care law.

Congress was closed for the day after a post-midnight vote in the GOP-run House to delay by a year key parts of the new health care law and repeal a tax on medical devices, in exchange for avoiding a shutdown. The Senate was to convene Monday afternoon, just hours before the shutdown deadline, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had already promised that majority Democrats would kill the House's latest volley.

Since the last government shutdown 17 years ago, temporary funding bills known as continuing resolutions have been noncontroversial, with neither party willing to chance a shutdown to achieve legislative goals it couldn't otherwise win. But with health insurance exchanges set to open on Tuesday, tea-party Republicans are willing to take the risk in their drive to kill the health care law.

Action in Washington was limited mainly to the Sunday talk shows and a barrage of press releases as Democrats and Republicans rehearsed arguments for blaming each other if the government in fact closes its doors at midnight Monday.

"You're going to shut down the government if you can't prevent millions of Americans from getting affordable care," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

"The House has twice now voted to keep the government open. And if we have a shutdown, it will only be because when the Senate comes back, Harry Reid says, 'I refuse even to talk,'" said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who led a 21-hour broadside against allowing the temporary funding bill to advance if stripped clean of a tea party-backed provision to derail Obamacare. The effort ultimately failed.

The battle started with a House vote to pass the short-term funding bill with a provision that would have eliminated the federal dollars needed to put President Barack Obama's health care overhaul into place. The Senate voted along party lines to strip that out and lobbed the measure back to the House.

The latest House measure, passed early Sunday by a near party-line vote of 231-192, sent back to the Senate two key changes: a one-year delay of key provisions of the health insurance law and repeal of a new tax on medical devices that partially funds it, steps that still go too far for The White House and its Democratic allies on Capitol Hill.

Senate rules often make it difficult to act quickly, but the chamber can act on the House's latest proposals by simply calling them up and killing them.

Eyes were turning to the House for its next move. One of its top leaders vowed the House would not simply give in to Democrats' demands to pass the Senate's "clean" funding bill.

"The House will get back together in enough time, send another provision not to shut the government down, but to fund it, and it will have a few other options in there for the Senate to look at again," said the No. 3 House Republican leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California. "We are not shutting the government down."

On the other hand, Democrats said the GOP's bravado may fade as the deadline to avert a shutdown nears.

Asked whether he could vote for a "clean" temporary funding bill, Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said he couldn't. But Labrador added, "I think there's enough people in the Republican Party who are willing to do that. And I think that's what you're going to see."

McCarthy wouldn't say what changes Republicans might make. He appeared to suggest that a very short-term measure might pass at the last minute, but GOP aides said that was unlikely.

And rumors Saturday night that GOP leaders might include a provision to deny lawmakers and staff aides their employer health care contributions from the government had cooled by Sunday afternoon. Lawmakers and congressional aides are required to purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, but the administration has taken steps to make sure they continue to receive their 72 percent employer contribution.

Republicans argued that Reid should have convened the Senate on Sunday to act on the measure.

"If the Senate stalls until Monday afternoon instead of working today, it would be an act of breathtaking arrogance by the Senate Democratic leadership," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "They will be deliberately bringing the nation to the brink of a government shutdown."

In the event lawmakers blow the Monday deadline, about 800,000 workers would be forced off the job without pay. Some critical services such as patrolling the borders, inspecting meat and controlling air traffic would continue. Social Security benefits would be sent, and the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs for the elderly and poor would continue to pay doctors and hospitals.

The Senate was not scheduled to meet until midafternoon Monday, 10 hours before a shutdown would begin, and even some Republicans said privately they feared that Reid held the advantage in the fast-approaching end game.

Republicans argued that they had already made compromises; for instance, their latest measure would leave intact most parts of the health care law that have taken effect, including requiring insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions and to let families' plans cover children up to age 26. They also would allow insurers to deny contraception coverage based on religious or moral objections.

Tea party lawmakers in the House -- egged on by Cruz -- forced GOP leaders to abandon an earlier plan to deliver a "clean" stopgap spending bill to the Senate and move the fight to another must-do measure looming in mid-October: a bill to increase the government's borrowing cap to avert a market-rattling, first-ever default on U.S. obligations.

McCarthy appeared on "Fox News Sunday," while Cruz and Labrador were on NBC's "Meet the Press." Van Hollen appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation."

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iwanaknow wrote:
Once Obamacare kicks in, no one will want to back to the old ways...............it's a pale copy of republican Mitt Rommney's MA health care plan
on September 29,2013 | 08:32AM
CriticalReader wrote:
WOW! Texas Senator Ted Cruz isn't a Christian! He was on "Meet the Press"' today. And, everyone knows that it's Sunday.
on September 29,2013 | 11:10AM
sumoroach wrote:
If the ACA is so great why are there so many waivers? Let the law stand on its own Everything in the law should be enforced. Not the ones that would hurt the DEMCRATES base get an waiver!
on September 29,2013 | 08:46PM
hanalei395 wrote:
After the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) succeeds and is established, the Republicans WILL NOT be calling it Obamacare anymore. They will be hoping and praying that people will forget and not give ANY credit to a black guy named Barack Obama, for America's new health plan. .... And now ...Franklin Roosevelt: Social Security ....Lyndon Johnson: Medicare .... The Affordable Care Act / Obamacare: ...Barack Obama.
on September 29,2013 | 03:13PM
hanalei395 wrote:
In a Republican state / a Red state, Kentucky, ... The Affordable Care Act ... is called ... "kynect" ...."Kentucky's New Health Plan". (With comments like ...."it's better than Obamacare"). ... Likewise other Republican / Red states. ... Instead of the The Afordable Care Act, they change and MAKE UP their OWN names. .....("It's better than Obamacare").
on September 29,2013 | 04:03PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
so, how come your president is willing to negotiate with the iranians, but not with republicans? what's up with that?
on September 29,2013 | 06:22PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Because the repugs are worst then radical Iranians.
on September 29,2013 | 07:38PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
When the Dems had control of the House, Senate and the White House in 2008, they met in secret and never considered what the repugs had to offer. And now the POTHUS makes deals with the Pres. of Iran and not with the repugs, our fellow Americans.
on September 29,2013 | 10:01PM
CriticalReader wrote:
'Cause the United States doesn't negotiate with terrorists.
on September 29,2013 | 11:48PM
sumoroach wrote:
When you start paying more then don't complain. When you don't get your doctor don't complain, When you get denied for services don't complain, but know you, will be the first to cried. Do you know what is I the bill? Read it. Romney has the same plan for Mass and they are now denying claims for services. Or rejecting coverage. Both plans suck.
on September 29,2013 | 08:22PM
wondermn1 wrote:
With Obamacare our health insurance costs will skyrocket and our coverage will decrease as the government will have the last say in YOUR CARE and THEY DON'T CARE. If the people who don't have insurance now its probably because they either cannot afford it or don't want it or they have such bad health issues caused by their own life decisions that the only way to help them is to give them unlimited money to keep them alive. Any way you look at it its going to be as with most Obama addenda's, those who work and live right will pay for those who don't. Remember a government that can give you everything you need is also able to take everything you have. Maybe I am just a tad republican and believe in the little red hen theory If you won't help pant the seeds why would you get to eat the bread.
on September 29,2013 | 08:38AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Time to get down and dirty with the Tea Party hooligans causing all this strife. The Administration and Senate should draw a bright, deep fiscal line in the sand. No new funding of Tea Party represented distiicts, and no implementation of Federal existing programs in Tea Party represented districts. It's OK for Tea Partiers to see government shut down? Fine. Shut it down in their districts. No SS checks, No contractor payments, and No Tax refunds processed in Tea Party represented zip codes. Heck, exempt Obamacare from those districts too. Make it unavailable to the good, freedom loving citizens of the Tea Party ideologues' districts. What? The US government might get sued if the Admin and Senate did that? So? Let the Tea Party constituents sue. Two, three years from now, we'll know whether it was an OK thing to do.
on September 29,2013 | 09:49AM
AmbienDaze wrote:
just what the heck are you ranting about? no make sense.
on September 29,2013 | 01:38PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Why? It's right in line with Tea Partier cosmic order. "Do or don't to this, then you deserve that". Just suggesting the Tea Partiers get what they ask for. Or, pay the price. Or, maybe just get punished for saying and doing things I don't like. All seems to be tactics and paradigms they endorse and understand.
on September 29,2013 | 02:03PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
i think you need to take a laxative and let it all out.
on September 29,2013 | 06:24PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Another annoying thing about neo-cons. They just ain't funny. No sense of humor. Think that if they talk about something below the belt and above the middle of the thigh they'll get a laugh. Then, they get distracted and start trying to create some policy about that area. Or make commercials about that area. Just really a weird, perverted crowd.
on September 29,2013 | 07:18PM
localguy wrote:
wondermn1 - Could you post the references for your accusations? They all sound like Ted Cruz talking his line of shibai.
on September 29,2013 | 02:05PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Ur a tad republican.
on September 29,2013 | 07:41PM
eoe wrote:
What do you mean no one wants it? The black, kenyan, musli m, socialist president doesn't want it so therefore 47.2% of the population automatically wants the opposite.
on September 29,2013 | 09:08AM
CriticalReader wrote:
GOP tantrum. As with all petulant children, the only responsible response is to let them kick and scream until they've cried themselves out - but be ready to get them psychological counseling if it lasts too long. A little uncomfortable for a little while. These are the last, desperate cries of an ideological minority holding and exercising leverage by calling upon the very ugliest in humanity. And, just how dangerous are these people? They are intentionally shutting down our Federal government. Intentionally. With malice aforethought of inflicting suffering on us all. At least "anarchists" and dictatorial butchers are honest about their politics. How do we permit anarchists with the mindsets of dictatorial, racial cleanse leaning butchers to occupy the halls of our government under the guise of being legitimate Americans?
on September 29,2013 | 09:36AM
Lavakane wrote:
GOP Tantrum? The DEMS are being just as stubborn. There are always two sides to the coin and neither side is sitting down to compromise. The whole operation of our Congress is a failure. But why should the people complain - they elect the same failures back into office.
on September 29,2013 | 09:55AM
CriticalReader wrote:
In the interest of National Security, all federal offices and positions (except law enforcement) should be pulled from Tea Party represented districts. The people of those districts are "speaking" through their representatives. They are saying, "we don't want Federal Government". Fine. Take it away. National Security is compromised if a population manning a portion of our government which they fundamentally believe should not exist or operate is permitted to do so. The Administration has to be bold in this crisis. Isolate the anarchist tendencies of Tea Party districts (clearly anarchist when they intentionally cause a shutdown of government), and move valuable assets that might be in jeopardy (the hated federal offices and employees) OUT.
on September 29,2013 | 10:07AM
sumoroach wrote:
Let pull all federal money from all program and start from scratch. Let shutdown the government for all not just one group of people. Let's be fair. Let's get people to start taking responsible for their actions. Affordable housing for generations for a family was not the intention of government. Welfare was not a life long program. Unemployment was not for over 2 .5 years. No more paying for low income family car insurances for life time. Government programs was for a safety net, not a life style. These people on the life style need to be cut off after 5-10 years on the program. Just look at KPT how many of the families move out after the 5 years rule.? Very very few. You are making the middle class pay more into these programs for people who do not take responsible for their actions. One more you need to visit some of these low income property for the state and see how run down they are by there own tenets. (volunteer to clean up the place).
on September 29,2013 | 08:36PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
Tell the Government to stay out of our lives. I don't like it when the Government is trying force legislation on the citizens.
on September 29,2013 | 07:16PM
sumoroach wrote:
What input have the GOP get to make for ACA? NONE this is not the bipartitions that the POTUS said he would make. Just another LIE.
on September 29,2013 | 08:25PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The US government is the only entity in this Universe that can increase its own credit limit. What a hypocrisy!!! The Republicans say to let the taxpayers keep more of their paycheck, however the Repubicans themselves need to remember their own legacy, that is to say "I am not a crook". The Democrats say spend the money and grow government however the Democrats need to remember that they are the party that was the root of the greatest recession since The Great Depression. We might blame the Republican Admistration because GWBush was in charge when The Mortgage Crisis struck in 2007, namely bringing down a few of the biggest private firms on Wall Street, including Lehman Brothers. Even JP Morgan Chase now is implicated with the news of their recent improprieties. However the Mortgage Crisis originated during The Clinton Administration, when Bill and Hillary wanted more Americans to own their own homes. The crisis stealthily occurred during the early years of the GWBush Administration. Most people do not realize that. We simply have blamed GWBush. We are nearly out of the woods however we are still in the forest. The Government shutting down for a few days or even a week would not destabilize the financial markets, however not raising the Debt Limit would bring The Stock Market and The Bond Market crashing down like never seen before. Many pension plans including The State Retirement System will go down and really destabilize the USA economy not to mention the world. The US Treasury as a last resort is not to be taken lightly. This is not a partisan issue rather this is an American issue. I wish Mr. Obama would see it that way and not posture too much in front of "The American People" as all our POTUS like to emote. We must not destabilize our economy. That's all there is to it. Over and out and see you after the conclusion of The Dallas Cowboy and San Diego Charger matchup.
on September 29,2013 | 12:14PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Assuming you're right, then the US should take immediate action and increase taxes on the highest tax brackets and corporations. Plenty of room to do that. Please, no trickle down mumbo jumbo in response. Please.
on September 29,2013 | 12:32PM
sumoroach wrote:
Increase it for all let everyone pay. Everyone is equal. Take all deductions away from everyone. The only deduction family size and retirement savings). •10% on taxable income from $0 to $8,925, plus •15% on taxable income over $8,925 to $36,250, plus •25% on taxable income over $36,250 to $87,850, plus •28% on taxable income over $87,850 to $183,250, plus •33% on taxable income over $183,250 to $398,350, plus •35% on taxable income over $398,350 to $400,000, plus •39.6% on taxable income over $400,000.
on September 29,2013 | 08:42PM
HD36 wrote:
The only reason the US government can increase their own credit limit is because we have the status of the world's reserve currency as bestowed upon us at the Bretton Woods Agreement after WWII. This blessing has become a curse as politicians discovered they could kick the can down the road by going off the gold standard and monetizing the debt through the Federal Reserve central bank. The balance sheet of the Fed was $800 billion in 2007, and will be over $3 trillion by the end of this year. As we saw in late May, early June, Fed talk of scaling back the $85 billion a month brought about a spike in interest rates and a 1000 pt dow decline. Wether or not we keep borrowing money to pay the bills that we previously borrowed money for, the ponzi scheme is coming to an end. We are at the point where the combined force of the Treasury Exchange Fund, leveraged interest rate swaps, and alogorythem flash trading of bonds by the big banks is not enough to keep the bond market from crashing via foreign central bank redemptions, alternative dollar trading platforms, and Yuan trade exchange areements. As the easy money carry trade has unwound with massive losses to the banks, the derivitives market is set to implode. There is no way to avoid an economic collapse. It will either happen through Fed taper and unwind of QE, or through unending QE untill the debasement of the dollar results in a 1920 like Wiemar Republic scenario. The best analogy I can give is of a herion drug addict. The addict, needs more and more drugs to get high. Take the drugs away and he crashes. Keep giving him more and more and he eventually overdoses and dies.
on September 29,2013 | 01:23PM
CriticalReader wrote:
And, addition comes from self-destructive behavior in the form of constant pursuit of "pleasure", and always at the expense of others and incredibly, oneself. What better way to describe the forces in this country (and abroad) that continue to force high income earners' tax rates low, and corporate taxes a joke?
on September 29,2013 | 01:37PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
The sky is falling huh .... I've heard this doom and gloom scenario before.
on September 29,2013 | 04:11PM
HD36 wrote:
So what do you think? Is Santa Clause going to come down the chimney and pay off the national debt? Will the debt just magically dissapear into the galaxy?
on September 29,2013 | 06:58PM
sumoroach wrote:
But remember Clinton chance the Law to create the mortgage crisis. Glass Sidgel ACT remove from banking laws.
on September 29,2013 | 08:38PM
bsdetection wrote:
A typically biased headline and article from AP. To suggest that House Republicans don't want a shutdown is patently absurd. The mere threat of the last shutdown cost the US more than $1B in added interest expense. The ACA was passed by Congress, signed by the President, ruled Constitutional by the Supreme Court, and was the dominant issue in the last election (reminder to Republicans: Obama won). Now, Republicans, who love to talk about how much they love the Constitution, are prepared to try to reverse the outcome of the Democratic process and undo the will of the majority.
on September 29,2013 | 01:42PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Through use of the tool of criminals and desperate losers. Extortion.
on September 29,2013 | 01:58PM
sumoroach wrote:
I guess it is the DEMOCRATES who use extortion. Right? YES THEY DO! Critical Reader you are right about the DEMS.
on September 29,2013 | 08:49PM
bsdetection wrote:
Note: a few minutes after the above post, the headline was changed.
on September 29,2013 | 02:32PM
pcman wrote:
IRT bs on ACA. What do you prefer? ACA or jobs? ACA kills jobs and restricts creation of new jobs. As has been shown in the last 3 years, people prefer jobs to help pay for medical care. Low cost (bronze)ACA insurance still requires patient payment for copays and deductibles. Without a job, you can't pay copays and deductibles. How much more simple can it be explained?
on September 29,2013 | 04:03PM
localguy wrote:
Call it what you want. The facts are our clueless, dysfunctional, congress and senate have lost it. They are more concerned about party politics than taking care of taxpayers. They play childish games by threatening to shut down the government if they do not get their way. Do they care how federal workers and other can lose money, not to be made up, while they continue to receive full pay? Of course not. They cry and whine in front of the camera when they should be fired. Would love to see a condom or birth control company start using their faces as reasons to use birth control. Budget not done on time, take their pay. Clearly they are not essential government personnel if they can't work a budget with an entire year to get it done. No leadership from anyone. Laughing stocks of the world.
on September 29,2013 | 02:12PM
sumoroach wrote:
No they don't. No pay raise for three going on four., Seqentation from the POTUS (cut in pay). POTUS should of taking a 92304 lost in pay he didn't. 400000/26=15384 15384/80= 192 per hour 192*16=3072 per pay period. 15384-3072= 12312 for three pay period. for a total of 18472 loss. Can some one prove that this happen? I will not take POTUS word on it I want to see his LES which will not lie.
on September 29,2013 | 08:59PM
serious wrote:
Ground AF One for a week and Obama will get off the golf course---yes, he was there Saturday--and negotiate. OUR leader has better things to do--just give him a platform and a microphone and he'll say anything!!!
on September 29,2013 | 02:15PM
bsdetection wrote:
Why should the President negotiate? You assume a false equivalency between the opposite sides. The ACA was passed by Congress, signed by the President, ruled Constitutional by the Supreme Court, and was the dominant issue in the last election (reminder to Republicans: Obama won). That's how things are decided in a democracy. The debt ceiling (which probably violates the 14th amendment) should not be used, in a manner that costs the taxpayers billions of dollars, as a tool for the minority to overturn the will of the majority.
on September 29,2013 | 02:38PM
hawaiikone wrote:
2010 is gone. Once facts started coming out about obamacare, the majority in this nation became opposed to it. Polls are showing that around 40% would be ok with a partial shutdown to force a congressional compromise. Reid's "it's my way or the highway" attitude does not reflect the will of the people. So in essence, that's why Obama needs to listen. He will be doing more political harm than good if he doesn't.
on September 29,2013 | 09:14PM
WKAMA wrote:
Too many conservatives are too far to the right which makes it hard for any negotiations with the democrats. You have conservative moderates(closer to the center) and tea party (far to the right) fighting among themselves. They can't even decide among themselves what is best for the party.
on September 29,2013 | 02:20PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
In the end ... the republicans will give in, There's enough moderate ones that will vote with dems to pass a bill, the speaker just needs to hold a vote on a bill the senate will pass.
on September 29,2013 | 04:15PM
HD36 wrote:
In the end, the world will stop lending us money because they'll realize we can't pay it back and if we do, it'll end up being worthless confetti.
on September 29,2013 | 07:03PM
kuroiwaj wrote:
Who will blink? President Obama and the Democrats will blink.
on September 29,2013 | 07:57PM
hornswoggler wrote:
ACA was a major part of Obama's platform when he ran for president and was elected-twice. If we don't want it, why did we elect him instead of the republican?
on September 29,2013 | 10:56PM
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