House votes to fund government, delay Obamacare, repeal medical device tax
With less than two days left to avoid a government shutdown, the House voted late Saturday night to fund the government — while delaying Obamacare for one year and repealing the medical device tax.
The bill is the House’s second attempt to avert a government shutdown. The Democrat-controlled Senate rejected the House’s original version of the bill, stripping out a provision that defunded Obamacare. If the two sides cannot come to an agreement, the government will shut down on Tuesday.
Voting late Saturday night and into Sunday morning, the House voted 231-192 in favor of a one year delay of Obamacare. They voted to repeal the medical device tax by a vote of 248-174, with 17 Democrats voting yes.
The House also voted unanimously for a bill that would ensure that military personnel continue to get paid in the event of a government shutdown.
“The House has again passed a plan that reflects the American people’s desire to keep the government running and stop the president’s health care law,” said House Speaker John Boehner in a statement after the vote.
“Now that the House has again acted, it’s up to the Senate to pass this bill without delay to stop a government shutdown,” he said. “Let’s get this done.”
But the Senate is not going to pass the bill, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Saturday.
“Today’s vote by House Republicans is pointless,” Reid said in a statement before the vote Saturday night.
House Democrats slammed the vote, accusing Republicans of forcing a government shutdown by passing something that could not pass the Senate.
“Americans have gone from deep disappointment to outrage at House Republicans’ antics,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair and New York Rep. Steve Israel in a statement. “This has been the Congress of chronic chaos since day one, and Republicans have turned governing into an old episode of the Road Runner cartoon – another day, another cliff.”
Senators might be more willing to accept the repeal of the medical device tax. Earlier this year, the Senate voted 79-20 in favor of repealing the tax in a symbolic vote. But Reid made clear that he had no intention of accepting either amendment.
“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 said.
The Senate is not set to come back into session until 2 p.m. on Monday, when there will be just 10 hours remaining to avert a shutdown. A Democratic Senate aide told The Daily Caller that they were unlikely to change that schedule, as Reid had made their position quite clear.
“There’s no point,” the aide said.