With just over two days remaining to avoid a government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected House Republicans’ latest plan to fund the government, reiterating his intention not to negotiate on that bill.
Speaker of the House John Boehner announced Saturday morning that the House would attach a one-year delay of Obamacare and a repeal of the medical device tax to the funding bill. The House is expected to vote on that bill some time on Saturday and send it back to the Senate. The new plan comes after the Senate rejected the House’s initial offering, which funded the government in a bill that defunded Obamacare.
Reid has said multiple times that his Democratic Senate will not accept any government funding bill that includes measures affecting the healthcare law. On Saturday, he dug in his heels.
“Today’s vote by House Republicans is pointless,” Reid said in a statement. “As I have said repeatedly, the Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government funding bill or the debt ceiling. Furthermore, President Obama has stated that he would veto such measures if they ever reached his desk.”
“To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax. After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one: Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate’s clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown,” he went on.
“Senate Democrats have shown that we are willing to debate and vote on a wide range of issues, including efforts to improve the Affordable Care Act. We continue to be willing to debate these issues in a calm and rational atmosphere. But the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists,” he concluded.
At the moment, the Senate is scheduled to come back into session Monday at 2 p.m., at which point just 10 hours will remain to shut down the government.
A Senate Democratic aide told The Daily Caller that as of yet, there was “no change in plans.”
“We will wait and see but it’s unlikely we return before Monday. There’s no point. We are not playing games. House Republicans’ only way out is to pass the Senate’s clean CR or shut down the government,” the aide said.