House GOP Passes Bill to Fund Government, Defund Obamacare

Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY), Appropriations Committee Chairman photographed on February 28, 2011.
National Journal
Billy House
See more stories about...
Billy House
Sept. 20, 2013, 7:36 a.m.

The House on Fri­day passed a GOP bill to keep the gov­ern­ment fun­ded past Sept. 30 to Dec. 15, which would also re­quire a de­fund­ing of Pres­id­ent Obama’s na­tion­al health care plan.

With the bill’s 230-189 pas­sage, the meas­ure goes to the Sen­ate, where Demo­crat­ic lead­ers, led by Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id, D-Nev., have already pro­nounced its Obama­care lan­guage dead on ar­rival. The House vote on the spend­ing bill was al­most en­tirely along party lines. Only two Demo­crats—Reps. Jim Math­eson of Utah, and Mike McIntyre of North Car­o­lina—voted in fa­vor of the bill. Rep. Scott Ri­gell of Vir­gin­ia was the only Re­pub­lic­an to op­pose it. Ten Demo­crats and three Re­pub­lic­ans did not vote.

After the vote, Re­pub­lic­ans held what they called a “rally” of their mem­bers in a room near the House cham­ber. 

“The Amer­ic­an people don’t want the gov­ern­ment to shut down — and they don’t want Obama­care,” said Speak­er John Boehner, R-Ohio, as his fel­low Re­pub­lic­ans clapped and cheered. “The House has listened to the Amer­ic­an people. And now it is time for the Sen­ate to listen to them, as well.”

The Sen­ate’s Demo­crats prom­ise to de­lete the anti-health-care lan­guage — and make oth­er pos­sible changes that could in­clude in­creas­ing its level of spend­ing — and then the meas­ure will be bat­ted back to the GOP-led House.

But that pro­cess in the Sen­ate won’t be­gin un­til next week, and it could be slowed by pro­ced­ur­al hurdles presen­ted by Re­pub­lic­ans there.

The dif­fer­ences then will have to be worked out, likely just days be­fore a cur­rent fund­ing mech­an­ism ex­pires at the end of the month, or a par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down could oc­cur. House mem­bers say they ex­pect to be work­ing next week­end.

On Thursday, the House passed a bill that would cut the food-stamp pro­gram by $39 bil­lion over 10 years — without a single Demo­crat­ic vote in sup­port — and Sen­ate Demo­crats have said they won’t ac­cept that level of re­duc­tion, either. The food-stamp pro­gram is a ma­jor part of an over­all farm bill, and this stan­doff presents an­oth­er end-of-month show­down for law­makers, giv­en the Sept. 30 ex­pir­a­tion of the cur­rent farm-bill ex­ten­sion.

Even amid these un­re­solved is­sues, Re­pub­lic­ans emerged from a closed-door meet­ing earli­er Fri­day say­ing their lead­ers also now plan next week to un­veil — and likely will bring to the floor for a vote — a bill that also will de­mand de­fund­ing Obama­care in re­turn for a sus­pen­sion or in­crease in the na­tion’s debt ceil­ing. That GOP le­gis­la­tion is to in­clude a pack­age of oth­er items, as well, in­clud­ing pos­sibly ad­van­cing the Key­stone XL pipeline, and a start to re­writ­ing the na­tion’s tax code.

The $16.7 tril­lion bor­row­ing lim­it is ex­pec­ted to be reached in mid-Oc­to­ber. Demo­crats backed by Obama have already said they won’t ne­go­ti­ate over rais­ing the debt ceil­ing and the need to pay the na­tion’s debts.

“I think that’s what they would likely do,” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., of the plans by Boehner and oth­er GOP lead­ers to move on a debt-ceil­ing pack­age. “There’s a lot to re­com­mend that — stay on of­fense and keep mov­ing.”

At the same time, Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor, R-Va., and oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans were say­ing Fri­day they still ex­pec­ted Sen­ate GOP col­leagues to fight vig­or­ously to keep the Obama­care de­fund­ing lan­guage as part of the tem­por­ary spend­ing bill. Can­tor said he hopes they will “leave no stone un­turned.”

The top Demo­crat on the House Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tee, Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, ex­pressed Demo­crat­ic re­sent­ment on the House floor be­fore Fri­day’s vote, say­ing this was no time “for re-lit­ig­at­ing Obama­care.” She said Re­pub­lic­ans could have brought a “con­struct­ive piece of le­gis­la­tion to this floor today,” but that, “in­stead we con­sider a bill we know is destined for de­feat in the Sen­ate and would be ve­toed by the pres­id­ent.”

“This bill is about keep­ing the gov­ern­ment open — pre­vent­ing a shut­down,” re­spon­ded House Ap­pro­pri­ation Chair­man Har­old Ro­gers, R-Ky., also speak­ing on the House floor. He said pas­sage of the bill will en­able law­makers more time — un­til Dec. 15 — to work out a longer-term and more com­pre­hens­ive “budget­ary path for­ward” for the new fisc­al year that be­gins Oct. 1.

What We're Following See More »
PROCEDURES NOT FOLLOWED
Trump Not on Ballot in Minnesota
3 days ago
THE LATEST
MOB RULE?
Trump on Immigration: ‘I Don’t Know, You Tell Me’
3 days ago
THE LATEST

Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
5 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
QUESTIONS OVER IMMIGRATION POLICY
Trump Cancels Rallies
5 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.

Source:
‘STRATEGY AND MESSAGING’
Sean Hannity Is Also Advising Trump
6 days ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”

Source:
×