Washington (AFP) – House Speaker John Boehner said lawmakers will vote Monday on another budget measure delaying part of the health care law, virtually assuring Congress misses a deadline to avoid a government shutdown.
The move would be the third straight effort by Boehner to insert an anti-‘Obamacare’ provision into legislation aimed at keeping federal agencies open beyond the current fiscal year, which ends at 11:59 pm Monday.
The Senate’s Democratic leadership has insisted on passing clean legislation that funds government, with no political riders attached.
After first seeking to defund Obamacare altogether, then delay it for a year, Boehner said he would now push to delay by a year the mandate which compels nearly all Americans to have health insurance by January 1, 2014 or pay a fine.
“We’re going to move here in the next several hours to take the Senate bill, add to it a one-year delay of the individual mandate on the American people and get rid of the exemption for members of Congress,” he told reporters. “It’s a matter of fairness for all Americans.”
Republicans have pointed to delays to the health care law that Obama himself ordered this year, including one that required employers with more than 50 full-time workers to provide health insurance to all employees.
But as Boehner unveiled his next move in the final hours before shutdown, the Senate was rejecting the previous House measure with anti-Obamacare provisions.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was dismissive of Boehner’s next move, saying the Senate will “get rid of that” within minutes.
“We’re not going to negotiate on this,” he said. “The future of our economy and our country now rests with John Boehner.”