Early Sunday morning, the House passed a budget plan that delays Obamacare by a year, keeps the government open, and almost definitely will not make it through the Senate. If the House and Senate can’t find a way to fund the government by Monday night, the government will shut down.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., didn’t give much hope for a resolution on Sunday morning.
While McCarthy kept up the idea that the Senate actually could pass the House continuing resolution on Fox News Sunday, he gave host Chris Wallace some answers about what he thinks will happen if the Senate sends the CR back to the House, without an Obamacare delay or a medical device tax repeal. “I think the House will get back together and in enough time send another provision not to shut the government down but to fund it,” McCarthy said, “and it’ll have a few other options in there for the Senate to look at again.”
Those “few other options” suggest that, at least right now, the House GOP leadership is not considering passing a “clean” CR — a plan that funds the government and doesn’t touch Obamacare or anything else. If the Senate knocks down the House CR, McCarthy said, the House will pass a bill on Monday “that will keep the government open, that will reflect the House, that I believe the Senate can accept. That will have fundamental changes into Obamacare that will protect the economy for America.”
Those “fundamental changes” have a few obvious possibilities. The House could pass a CR that includes just a medical device tax repeal, or an individual-mandate delay. Or, as National Review‘s Robert Costa reported on Saturday, it could include a version of the Vitter amendment, which would eliminate health care subsidies for members of Congress, their staff, and members of the executive branch.
Right now, it’s hard to see how a House CR that includes any of these provisions could hold off a government shutdown. The Senate and White House are virtually sure to refuse a CR that includes an individual mandate delay, and a medical device tax repeal — which would cost $29 billion over a decade according to the Congressional Budget Office — could be a tough climb there as well.
It’s not even clear that these “fundamental changes” would be able to get through the House, as powerful conservative groups like Heritage Action are already coming out and saying that they wouldn’t support something like a medical device tax repeal, as it would “do nothing to prevent the law’s entitlements from taking root and continues funding Obamacare in its entirety.”
McCarthy did leave the door open for a possible short-term CR that would prevent the government from shutting down come Oct. 1, if only for a few days. “We will not shut the government down,” McCarthy said. “If we need to negotiate a little longer, we will negotiate.”
We’ll see how that works out, or if that’s, again, something that could even make it through the House. Right now, the odds of a shutdown are looking pretty good.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated when the House votes occured. They happened early Sunday morning.
What We're Following See More »
Just after President Obama finished his address to the DNC, Hillary Clinton walked out on stage to join him, so the better could share a few embraces, wave to the crowd—and let the cameras capture all the unity for posterity.
In a speech that began a bit like a State of the Union address, President Obama said the "country is stronger and more prosperous than it was" when he took office eight years ago. He then talked of battling Hillary Clinton for the nomination in 2008, and discovering her "unbelievable work ethic," before saying that no one—"not me, not Bill"—has ever been more qualified to be president. When his first mention of Donald Trump drew boos, he quickly admonished the crowd: "Don't boo. Vote." He then added that Trump is "not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either."
Tim Kaine introduced himself to the nation tonight, devoting roughly the first half of his speech to his own story (peppered with a little of his fluent Spanish) before pivoting to Hillary Clinton—and her opponent. "Hillary Clinton has a passion for children and families," he said. "Donald Trump has a passion, too: himself." His most personal line came after noting that his son Nat just deployed with his Marine battalion. "I trust Hillary Clinton with our son's life," he said.
Michael Bloomberg said he wasn't appearing to endorse any party or agenda. He was merely there to support Hillary Clinton. "I don't believe that either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership," he said, before enumerating how he disagreed with both the GOP and his audience in Philadelphia. "Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence," he said. "Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction." Calling Donald Trump a "dangerous demagogue," he said, "I'm a New Yorker, and a know a con when I see one."
Vice President Biden tonight called President Obama "one of the finest presidents we have ever had" before launching into a passionate defense of Hillary Clinton. "Everybody knows she's smart. Everybody knows she's tough. But I know what she's passionate about," he said. "There's only one person in this race who will help you. ... It's not just who she is; it's her life story." But he paused to train some fire on her opponent "That's not Donald Trump's story," he said. "His cynicism is unbounded. ... No major party nominee in the history of this country has ever known less."