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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

WASHINGTON (AFP) – House Republicans turned up the political heat by passing a spending plan that defunds President Barack Obama’s health care law, a ploy that pushes government toward shutdown and possible default.

Congress now has just a week to breach a bitter ideological divide and approve a short-term federal budget before several government agencies and programs shutter at the beginning of fiscal year 2014 on October 1.

Lawmakers voted Friday along party lines 230-189 to fund government operations at current levels through December 15, setting up a showdown with the Democratic-led Senate, which will consider — and almost certainly reject — the measure this week.

The Republican bill includes a provision that strips funding for the health care law, which its critics have nicknamed “Obamacare” and which the GOP has fought to repeal since its passage more than three years ago.

Speaker John Boehner, whom Democrats accuse of caving in to extremists in his caucus, insisted the vote reflected Americans’ frustration with ill effects of the health law.

“Our message to the United States Senate is real simple: the American people don’t want the government shut down, and they don’t want Obamacare,” Boehner said, to loud cheers from his Republican members.

But with both sides insisting they will not blink in the face-off, the nation careened into fiscal whitewater.

“We really have no idea — no idea — how this is going to play out yet,” a Republican congressional aide told AFP.

Obama looked beyond the shutdown threat to a more portentous battle next month — the need to raise the U.S. borrowing limit, which Republicans have also vowed to try and block unless the health care law can be delayed by a year.

The president, visiting a car plant in Missouri, accused Republicans of risking a “tailspin” for the still recovering US economy by putting partisan zeal ahead of the good of the nation.

“If we don’t raise the debt ceiling — we are deadbeats,” Obama warned in a fiery speech, saying it was “the height of irresponsibility” for House Republicans to threaten a government default unless they get their way.

Later, he telephoned Boehner to urge the House leader to fulfill Congress’s role in paying the nation’s bills, but Obama also said he “wouldn’t negotiate with him on the debt limit,” according to a Boehner aide.

“The speaker was disappointed but told the president that the two chambers of Congress will chart the path ahead,” the aide added. “It was a brief call.”

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised defeat of the measure in his chamber, saying Republicans faced a stark choice: “pass a clean bill to fund the government, or force a shutdown.”

All but one House Republican voted for the bill, which earned the support of just two Democrats from relatively conservative districts.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • turtlewoman1039

    YES, by all means, and for the sake of this country and its REAL citizens – not the corporations to whom you answer – GO HOME.
    Get out of ‘public service’, since you clearly DO NOT understand the meaning of that term.
    GET OUT before more people wise up and have you tried for sedition.
    GO HOME and mutter under your breath about how the earth is only 6,000 years old and jonah had a pet dinosaur and women should be in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.
    You are a disgrace to this country and an unending embarrassment.
    GO HOME to your talibangelist & tp supporters and stop trying to drag this country into the Dark Ages.

    • Annemb

      A wonderful post!

      Your description of these pseudo-representatives is a 100% accurate.


  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The GOP bulls are pretty stupid if they think Americans will EVER allow them to hand us a future of constant hardship and inability to afford healthcare. We give tax dollars, we can take them right back.

    • Annemb


  • Dominick Vila

    The 2014 budget passed by the House is not a surprise. The GOP vowed, time and again, to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act, and that’s exactly what they did when they passed a Bill that funds all government programs and our obligations…except for ACA.
    Considering that many of the most important facets of ACA have already been implemented without dedicated funding, including ending the pre-existing condition clause, insurance policy caps, women wellness, and extending dependent medical benefits until age 26, it is evident that what the GOP hates is access to preventive medicine for over 20 million fellow Americans and for hundreds of thousands of small business owners and other Americans who cannot afford the high insurance premiums they would have to pay to get coverage, and which would be cut in half if they join the ACA exchanges. With that in mind, I think it is fair to say that their obstructionism is influenced by the need to preserve insurance company profits rather than the best interests of the American middle class.

  • mah101

    We don’t negotiate with terrorists. Any political party (especially a minority party) or politician who threatens to close our federal government, cease operations, and not even pay the bills that they authorized, just so they can get their own way is doing nothing more than holding the United States hostage. They are traitors.

    And then I heard Ted Cruz say that Obama and Harry Reid were going to shut down the government!? Unbelievable. That is like a hostage taker killing a hostage and blaming the police because their demands weren’t met.

    Is this how responsible mature adults deal with issues? Do we really want these people anywhere near our public policy?

    • Annemb

      A great post!

      I wouldn’t believe anything that eminates from the mouth of Ted Cruz. It seems to me that he’s once again pointing fingers away from himself – he thinks.


      • jointerjohn

        The radical christian right-wingers are now really fighting with the old-guard Republican establishment types because some of them criticized Cruz and Mike Lee for hatching this annual budget hostage situation without conferring with colleagues. You can see it in the comments over at that nutty-assed WND site. Nothing makes me smile bigger than seeing Republicans ripping each other to shreds. With this cowboy move the TP Reps have placed the Republican Senators in a bad spot, and Senator Cruz was in on the whole dirty business. The 2014 Republican Primaries will be a giant Jerry Springer Show Marathon! WHEeeeee!

        • Annemb

          YOUR post just put a great, big, smile on my face which I can’t erase!

          WOW … What a ride that’ll be!

          (Excuse the Caps, they’re not meant to shout, but to emphasize my joy!)

          Aren’t their actions to take down the government acts of treason?


    What a crock this whole thing is. All Obama has to do is tell the Repukelicans to go fornicate themlesves and invoke the 14th Amemdment which authorizes him to pay the bills of the US–He don’t need congress to give him the money to pay the bills–he has the authority now.

    • johninPCFL

      So Reagan, Nixon, and GWB all also had this authority, right? The GOP decided that a president should only serve two terms (after Roosevelt), but the next one that had a chance for more than two was GOP Reagan. The last time the “nuclear option” on the filibuster was openly discussed, Hary Reid was the minority leader and vigorously opposed the change. Be careful what you wish for, because at the next oportunity the other party may be the leaders.

      • omgamike

        I know what I am wishing for. But the outcome I see is not what you are seeing. What I am terrified of is an outcome we will face, IMO, if those on the radical right keep getting what they want. The American people will finally have had enough and will regurgitate all that right-wing bile. They will take to the streets. When that happens we will truly have seen the end of the America we have been so proud of, that we fought and died for.

        • THS_Warrior

          There is nothing to worry about: On December 12, 2000 that very same “radical right” you are worried about got exactly what they wanted when the presidency was awarded to George W. Bush by a (shameful) 5-4 “vote” of the nine then-sitting Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.
          Many of my (very excitable, worrisome) progressive friends then thought the world had ended because Al Gore was cheated out of the presidency.
          Those of us with cooler heads and who can see the long game predicted that the Bush presidency would end up being be so rediculous and injurious to the United States that it would help usher in a moderate Democrat as president in 2004 or 2008.
          George W. Bush easily won re-election in 2004 mainly because the progressives tried to hard to elect a “liberal” Senator, John Kerry; that was way too much “change” for this evenly-divided nation to endure back in 2004. But by 2008 the people were so disgusted by the Bush Administration and so “ready for change” that they elected a non-white male.

      • AMADAL

        It’s not a wish. It’s the 14th Amendment and the option has been there since ratification It should be used no matter which party is being obstructionist and threatening to “shut down the government”

      • THS_Warrior

        Advice to johninPCFL: If or when you grow up and become a parent you will begin to understand that having authority is not the same as exercising that authority.
        The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly ruled that no Congress may lawfully refuse to provide adequate funding for any existing government branch, agency or program created by a previous Congress. Duh.
        In fact, FYI, that exact issue was the very first issue ever litigated in and resolved by the (first and founding) Supreme Court when the Honorable John Marshal was Chief Justice of the United States.

        • johninPCFL

          Save the insults.
          When Reagan was president and adding $4T to the national debt he didn’t use that rationalle, but instead pulled military spending from his budgets and forced Congress to raise the debt ceiling and authorize the checks anyway. If this issue was settled in the 1800s, why would he invent that little subterfuge instead of just claiming A14? I think the issue is not nearly so settled as you believe.

          • THS_Warrior

            “I think the issue is not nearly so settled as you believe.”
            Of course you don’t believe me; you are not an attorney.
            I have at least 40 very experienced attorney friends who know that once the Congress enacts any program that requires an
            annual appropriation to continue the program the only way the Congress can stop the program is by enacting new legislation that abolishes or alters the program.
            There are at least two simple facts that might help illustrate and explain this problem to non-attorneys: First, as every American I know has noticed for decades, Congress NEVER abolishes any old outdated programs; all they ever do is create new programs that more often than not overlap the old programs. Congress knows they cannot stop funding the old programs as long as the programs are still in existence.
            Secondly, if the Congress did not have to continue funding all the agencies, bureaus, boards, commissions, committees, etc. created by the Constiutution and the laws they could contol the goverment merely by de-funding the salaries and benefits received by people they did not like in the Executive Branch or the Supreme Court Justices, Army Generals, the Secretary of State, anyone not wanted anymore.
            BTW: This old “withold the money” ploy has been tried many times since the 1700s, and decalred unconstitutional.

  • THS_Warrior

    The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly ruled that no Congress may lawfully refuse to provide adequate funding for any existing government branch, agency or program created by a previous Congress. Duh.
    That exact issue was among the very first important legal issues ever litigated in and resolved by the (first and founding) Supreme Court of the United States, back when the Honorable John Marshal was Chief Justice of the United States.
    The reasoning for this legal fact is self-evident: If every new Congress could just ignore everything done by all previous Congresses or just not appropriate any money to pay all the people hired by previous administrations the result would be constant civil war.
    Do not get me wrong: If any Congress does not like some legislation passed by some previous Congress, they are always free to pass some new substantive legislation that amends or repeals the previous legislation. But they cannot refuse to fund previously enacted programs merely by ignoring those programs or by deleting the funding in any appropriations bill.