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Monday, October 24, 2016

Washington (AFP) – With five days until a possible U.S. government shutdown, lawmakers were to mull options Thursday for keeping agencies open while potentially postponing a battle over President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The Senate expected to approve a stopgap funding bill soon that strips out a provision defunding the controversial health law, while House Republicans were to confer early Thursday over possible plans to shift the health care fight to mid-October, when lawmakers will need to raise the debt ceiling.

Congress is deeply fractured over how to spend within the government’s means, and they have yet to come to terms over a budget that funds federal operations beyond next Monday, the final day of the current fiscal year.

After the Senate moved forward Wednesday on the temporary spending bill, the chamber’s top Democrat Harry Reid stripped it of the health care provision, insisting that nothing that defunds so-called “Obamacare” will pass the Senate, as it did in the House.

Republican and Democratic leaders agreed to compress the procedural time before the next Senate vote, meaning the chamber could pass its legislation on Saturday, leaving the lower house barely 48 hours to pass the amended bill.

Any changes to the bill by House Speaker John Boehner would require the reworked version to go back to the Senate for approval, almost certainly leading to a government shutdown.

“I would hope we can expedite this,” Reid said. “We have a lot to do and I hope we can get there as quickly as we can.”

If no deal is reached, many government agencies would shut down from Tuesday, and hundreds of thousands of federal workers would be ordered to stay home with no pay.

Meanwhile, a congressional source said House Republicans were considering reworking their budget measure to include a one-year delay of Obamacare’s so-called individual mandate, which requires nearly all Americans to have insurance by January 2014 or pay a fine.

“It is an option that some people like,” a Republican aide told AFP.

Other Republicans, however, have spoken of the potential for passing a clean stopgap budget and shifting the Obamacare fight to the debt ceiling, where they feel they might have more leverage.

Boehner’s leadership team was expected to propose that plan to the caucus Thursday, according to the Washington Post.

With the attention earlier this week on the Senate, conservative Senator Ted Cruz took to the floor Tuesday for an extraordinary, 21-hour speech railing against Obamacare as “the biggest job killer in this country.”

Many Republicans expressed opposition to Cruz’s delay strategy, warning it could leave insufficient time for the House to consider the Senate measure.

They said Republicans would be blamed for a shutdown debacle, and it would hurt the party’s standing with voters.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • medford_resident

    at what point does America stand up to the lie of “defaulting on our debt” and tell these idiot politicians to stop spending our children into debt? Seriously, the idiot spending must stop.

    • latebloomingrandma

      If you truly think that, attend a class in Economics 101.

      • medford_resident

        sorry grand mom, you’re incorrect. I know you’ve been taught this by the people bribing you with governmental handouts but its simply not true. I’d go into detail but you’re one line nonsensical statement isn’t worthy of it.

        • latebloomingrandma

          If you really believe that defaulting on our debt will not create catastrophe, then you must have gone to the same school as Michele Bachman. The last time the idiot Congress took us right to the last minute of raising the debt ceiling, thereby downgrading our country’s reliablity for the first time ever. all I’m saying is that running the budget/economy of the world’s biggest government is not the same as running your household budget. The gov’t is too interconnected with the rest of the world, who depend on our reliability. The debt will come down as soon as people get JOBS, which the Republicans- both corporate leaders and politicians- keep harping about but DOING nothing about.

          • medford_resident

            I’m sure as a retired nurse, you imagine you have a clue about economics and business but here in the real world, I run a successful multimillion dollar business wiih banking relationships and corporations around the globe and can speak fluently on all levels of micro and macro. Here in the real world, not increasing your line of credit means you can no longer buy things on borrowed money, it does not mean defaulting on your obligations. That is simply the lie you’ve been told and obviously believe.

            The last time the US credit rating was lowered was not because of the congress trying to control deficit spending, it was because they FAILED TO.

            And lastly, as long as the US continues to vilify corporations, they will continue to move to countries where they’re welcomed. Its the president and his idiot vilification of success and corporations, not republicans, who stand in the way of jobs.

            I’d like to say its interesting to see the uninformed’s take on things but quite frankly, you and your ability to vote are America’s biggest problem.

          • latebloomingrandma

            Excuse me,I didn’t realize I was conversing with one of the plutocrats, who really aren’t like the rest of us.
            As a nurse, I can speak to the need for health care for all, perhaps a concept you can’t get. The richest country in the world should be able to figure this out, since Theodore Roosevelt first spoke of it a CENTURY ago.

          • medford_resident

            Again, nutcase, after obamacare is fully implemented, we’ll still have over 30 million uninsured.
            Why is it that our least intelligent ignore this fact?

          • Which is exactly WHY during the next administration (Democrat of course) we’ll be moving to Universal Healthcare insurance.
            Sure the ‘investors’ in the stocks of the healthcare insurance companies will take a hit (sell now) but I don’t care!
            I have been taking the hit for decades, now it’s time for the looters to start paying up..