What One GOP Leader Thinks Will Happen If the Senate Kills the House Budget Plan

The Senate almost definitely will knock down the plan, which delays Obamacare. Here’s what Rep. Kevin McCarthy thinks comes next.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., center, walks to a Republican caucus at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. 
National Journal
Matt Berman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Matt Berman
Sept. 29, 2013, 5:42 a.m.

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 »
STAKES ARE HIGH
Debate Could Sway One-Third of Voters
14 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that 34% of registered voters think the three presidential debates would be extremely or quite important in helping them decide whom to support for president. About 11% of voters are considered 'debate persuadables'—that is, they think the debates are important and are either third-party voters or only loosely committed to either major-party candidate."

Source:
YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS ANYMORE
Gennifer Flowers May Not Appear After All
25 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Will he or won't he? That's the question surrounding Donald Trump and his on-again, off-again threats to bring onetime Bill Clinton paramour Gennifer Flowers to the debate as his guest. An assistant to flowers initially said she'd be there, but Trump campaign chief Kellyanne Conway "said on ABC’s 'This Week' that the Trump campaign had not invited Flowers to the debate, but she didn’t rule out the possibility of Flowers being in the audience."

Source:
HAS BEEN OFF OF NEWSCASTS FOR A WEEK
For First Debate, Holt Called on NBC Experts for Prep
37 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

NBC's Lester Holt hasn't hosted the "Nightly News" since Tuesday, as he's prepped for moderating the first presidential debate tonight—and the first of his career. He's called on a host of NBC talent to help him, namely NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack; NBC News president Deborah Turness; the news division's senior vice president of editorial, Janelle Rodriguez; "Nightly News" producer Sam Singal, "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, senior political editor Mark Murray and political editor Carrie Dann. But during the debate itself, the only person in Holt's earpiece will be longtime debate producer Marty Slutsky.

Source:
WHITE HOUSE PROMISES VETO
House Votes to Bar Cash Payments to Iran
51 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"The House passed legislation late Thursday that would prohibit the federal government from making any cash payments to Iran, in protest of President Obama's recently discovered decision to pay Iran $1.7 billion in cash in January. And while the White House has said Obama would veto the bill, 16 Democrats joined with Republicans to pass the measure, 254-163."

Source:
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
51 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
×