Congressional Stalemate Continues, Threatening Partial Gov’t Shutdown

By:  Bob Adelmann
Congressional Stalemate Continues, Threatening Partial Gov’t Shutdown

The moment of truth is now. Constitutionalists will maintain their principles. Others will shed their Tea Party costumes. Americans will shortly learn the difference.

Hoping to put the onus back onto the Senate, the House of Representatives on Friday night passed two amendments to the pending Continuing Resolutions bill: one to repeal the ObamaCare tax on medical devices (248-174) and the other to delay implementation of the controversial law for a year (231-192). As they were being passed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid remained adamant that the Democrat-controlled Senate would not pass anything that changed ObamaCare in any way. Reid even resisted calls by the Republican House leadership to schedule a Saturday vote, instead putting it off until Monday afternoon.

The White House was equally adamant that even if somehow a bill passed the Senate that modified ObamaCare in any way, the president would veto it. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to pin the blame on the House Republicans, saying they were wasting their time with such measures:

Republicans decided they would rather make an ideological point by demanding the sabotage of the health care law. Republicans have tried and failed to defund or delay the health care law more than 40 times, and they know this demand is reckless and irresponsible....

Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a [government] shutdown. It’s time for the House to listen to the American people, and act.

That seems to be the problem. There are enough House members who, fresh from town hall meetings across the country, are in fact listening to their constituents and who are willing to incur the wrath of Republican Party leadership to force the issue, even if it means Democrats will then reject the bill and shut down part of the national government. Once the Senate convenes and votes to table the latest House measure, the issue will return once again to the House. Time is running out, but there appears to be little appetite for further compromise by the small but determined cadre of conservatives unwilling to cave.

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