Maneuver on CR May Not Pacify Obamacare Critics

Eric Cantor
National Journal
Billy House
Sept. 9, 2013, 5:30 p.m.

House Re­pub­lic­an lead­ers plan to pro­ceed with a vote Thursday on a stop­gap spend­ing bill to keep the gov­ern­ment op­er­at­ing bey­ond Sept. 30, and they plan to in­clude a rare pro­ced­ur­al man­euver to force the Sen­ate to vote on de­fund­ing Pres­id­ent Obama’s health care law.

The strategy be­ing put for­ward by Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor, R-Va., is in­ten­ded to sat­is­fy con­ser­vat­ives who want to de­rail the Pa­tient Pro­tec­tion and Af­ford­able Care Act. Some have called for Re­pub­lic­ans to use their ma­jor­ity in the House to block spend­ing bills, in­clud­ing so-called con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tions, as lever­age even if that might lead to a gov­ern­ment shut­down.

Eighty-five House Re­pub­lic­ans have signed a let­ter cir­cu­lated by Rep. Mark Mead­ows, R-N.C., that calls for Can­tor and Speak­er John Boehner to “af­firm­at­ively de­fund the im­ple­ment­a­tion and en­force­ment of Obama­care” in any ap­pro­pri­ations bills. Oth­er con­ser­vat­ives, such as Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Mike Lee, R-Utah, have been mak­ing sim­il­ar de­mands.

But it does not ap­pear likely that all of the con­ser­vat­ives will be sat­is­fied by Can­tor’s strategy — which would not ac­tu­ally force law­makers in­to a stark choice of either de­fund­ing the health care over­haul or shut­ting down gov­ern­ment.

Rep. Tim Huel­skamp, R-Kan., who signed Mead­ows’s let­ter, pre­dicted Monday that there would be at least 20 votes against the rule to al­low the House to pro­ceed with such a strategy for the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion. He also said it il­lus­trates that, for some in the House GOP ranks, “you really aren’t op­posed to Obama­care; you just want to say you are.”

Pas­sage of a CR to keep the gov­ern­ment fun­ded is among the key is­sues that law­makers need to ac­com­plish this month, be­cause the House and Sen­ate have not yet agreed on an­nu­al spend­ing bills for the new fisc­al year, which be­gins Oct. 1. House Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tee Chair­man Har­old Ro­gers, R-Ky., said Monday that he hopes and ex­pects the stop­gap spend­ing bill to be brought to the floor for a vote Thursday. He said it would keep gov­ern­ment run­ning through mid-Decem­ber, giv­ing law­makers more time to ne­go­ti­ate a longer-term spend­ing pack­age.

House GOP aides say top lead­ers also want to make sure gov­ern­ment spend­ing is kept at cur­rent levels — levels that in­clude so-called se­quest­ra­tion cuts to agency budgets.

The Demo­crat­ic-led Sen­ate Ap­pro­pri­ations Com­mit­tee has been writ­ing up that cham­ber’s spend­ing bills to a topline level of $1,058 tril­lion for the new fisc­al year, on the as­sump­tion that Con­gress will re­peal se­quest­ra­tion. But the GOP-led House’s CR fund­ing would be set at a post-se­quester an­nu­al level of $988 bil­lion.

The plan for the CR is to be form­ally an­nounced to mem­bers at the House Re­pub­lic­an Con­fer­ence meet­ing Tues­day.

It calls for the House to sim­ul­tan­eously vote on both the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion for gov­ern­ment spend­ing and a con­cur­rent res­ol­u­tion that would amend the spend­ing bill to in­clude lan­guage on de­fund­ing the health care law. If both pass, the House would then send the de­fund­ing lan­guage to the Sen­ate, ac­cord­ing to a lead­er­ship aide who is fa­mil­i­ar with the plan. The rule for the pack­age would re­quire that the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion it­self can­not be trans­mit­ted to the Sen­ate un­til the up­per cham­ber has con­sidered the de­fund­ing lan­guage.

What We're Following See More »
‘DEMOCRATIC GENERATION’
Schumer: We’ll Take the Senate
26 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the majority leader in waiting, not only thinks his party will take the Senate this fall, but that it's on the cusp of an era of "electoral dominance." He told Politico: “We’re going to have a Democratic generation. [President Barack Obama] helped create it. But it’s just where America’s moving demographically, ideologically and in every way. We’ll have a mandate to get something done.”

Source:
TAPING IN NEW YORK TODAY
Biden to Guest on ‘Law and Order: SVU’
43 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

"Vice President Joe Biden will appear in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit that will mention the backlog of untested rape kits in many cities, as well as efforts to end violence against women—an issue close to Biden, who authored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994." He'll be in New York to tape the episode today.

Source:
PREEMPTIVE STRIKE?
Clinton Heading to the Rust Belt
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Clinton's first order of business after the Democratic convention is a bus trip through the electoral battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and Ohio, the opening move in a strategy to defend her party's grip on states President Barack Obama won and to brand her opponent as unfit to be president. It shows a campaign eager to close off a likely effort by Donald Trump, her Republican opponent, to build an Electoral College majority by winning working-class, white voters in the Rust Belt and other slowly diversifying states."

Source:
RUSSIANS AGAIN?
FBI Probing Hack at DCCC
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) that may be related to an earlier hack at the Democratic National Committee." The intrusion "may have been intended to gather information about donors, rather than to steal money."

Source:
DO THEY NEED TO GET TO 15%?
Will Romney Endorse the Libertarian Ticket?
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson told CNN Thursday that Mitt Romney was considering endorsing him for president this fall." He said the two had recently spoken. Johnson's running mate, Bill Weld, agreed that they have a good chance of winning the endorsement, especially if they meet the 15% polling threshold for participating in the presidential debates.

Source:
×