Quick Hit Aricka Flowers Wednesday September 18th, 2013, 6:03pm

House To Vote On Obamacare — Again, GOP Continues To Hold Federal Government Hostage

The U.S. House is moving forward with a plan to simultaneously fund the federal government and defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a Wednesday announcement by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH,8).

The Speaker says the most conservative members of his caucus have made it clear that they will not relent on their attempts to get rid of the health care reform bill, even if it results in a government shutdown.

"Listen. We've got a lot of divergent opinions in the caucus and the key to any leadership job is to listen," Boehner explained.

"You know, I was here during the (Newt) Gingrich era," he added. "He had a little plaque that was in his office. And it was a management model: 'Listen, learn, help, and leave.' We listened to our colleagues over the course of the last week. We have a plan that they're happy with. We're going forward."

This news means the federal government could be closer to a shutdown if Republicans continue to refuse to pass a spending package that does include the defunding of the health care reform law. The new federal fiscal year begins on October 1, which is when the shutdown would begin if lawmakers fail to pass a funding package. The House has canceled a scheduled recess and will be back in session September 25, and could work through the weekend on their plan, according to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA,7).

President Obama appears to be digging in his heels as well, saying that while he is "prepared to look at priorities the Republicans think we should be promoting and priorities Republicans think we shouldn’t be promoting", he will not be moved by lawmakers' threats to take the federal government hostage in order for the GOP to get their way.  

“What I will not do is create a habit, a pattern, whereby the full faith and credit of the United States ends up being a bargaining chip to set policy,” the president said earlier today.

“We have not seen this in the past,” Obama noted. “That a budget is contingent on us eliminating a program that was voted on, passed by both chambers of Congress, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, is two weeks from being implemented, and helps 30 million get health-care coverage.”

Republicans may be setting themselves up for failure and long-term negative repercussions in their decision to bend to the Tea Party's demands of tying federal government funding with their attempts to take down Obamacare. On Tuesday, an editorial in conservative newspaper The Wall Street Journal referred to the plan as a kamikaze mission:

Their demand is that the House pair the "must pass" CR or the debt limit with defunding the health-care bill. Kamikaze missions rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots.

The problem is that Mr. Obama is never, ever going to unwind his signature legacy project of national health care. Ideology aside, it would end his Presidency politically. And if Republicans insist that any spending bill must defund ObamaCare, then a showdown is inevitable that shuts down much of the government. Republicans will claim that Democrats are the ones shutting it down to preserve ObamaCare. Voters may see it differently given the media's liberal sympathies and because the repeal-or-bust crowd provoked the confrontation.

The House is slated to vote on the continuing resolution to tie a temporary spending bill to the defunding of the ACA this week, likely on Friday. This will be the 42nd House vote to get rid of the health care reform law. Even still, U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS,1) says the upcoming vote has more potential than the previous 41 failed attempts.

"None of the other votes were on must-pass bills. They were on individual bills," he said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "We've had 42 different swings at the bat. Forty-two different exhibition games. But we've never actually had a regular season."

The Senate is expected to vote the measure down, setting the stage for additional votes on the issue next week. Stay tuned.

Image: AP

Comments

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This is how democracy works.

To get things they wanted the Democrats would act the same way. The Republicans are only doing what they believe they were elected to do. they are only standing up for what they believe in.

If the Democrats were threatening to hold the government hostage you would be cheering them on.

Bob Kastigar
IBEW Local 1220, Chicago

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