Boehner accuses Democrats of ‘arrogance’ for delaying work to stop government shutdown

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Speaker of the House John Boehner accused Harry Reid and other Senate Democrats of “breathtaking arrogance” for intentionally not convening a Sunday session to deal with compromise legislation to stop a government shutdown.

“The House worked late into the night Saturday to prevent a government shutdown, and the Senate now must move quickly, today, to do the same,” Boehner said Sunday.

In a dramatic weekend vote late Saturday night, the Republican-controlled House passed legislation that keeps funding the government for the rest of the year if Obamacare is delayed for one year and the so-called medical device tax is permanently repealed.

Under current law, the government is funded until Monday, meaning a continuing resolution needs to be passed to keep the government from shutting down.

Calling the amendments over Obamacare unreasonable, Reid, the Nevada Democrat and Senate majority leader, says the Senate won’t take up the bill. President Obama also says he would veto the bill.

Still, House Republicans are urging Reid to convene the Senate on Sunday to address the issue.

“If the Senate stalls until Monday afternoon instead of working today, it would be an act of breathtaking arrogance by the Senate Democratic leadership,” Boehner said. “They will be deliberately bringing the nation to the brink of a government shutdown for the sake of raising taxes on seniors’ pacemakers and children’s hearing aids and plowing ahead with the train wreck that is the president’s health care law. The American people will not stand for it.”

More than a week ago, House Republicans passed a short-term spending bill — known as a continuing resolution — that keeps the government running for the rest of the year while simultaneously defunding President Obama’s unpopular health care law.

On Friday, the Senate passed legislation keeping the government funded though without defunding Obamacare.

With Saturday’s vote, Republicans offered what they consider a compromise by amending the bill by delaying, instead of defunding Obamcaare and repealing the medical device tax.

For now, Senate Democrats appear unwilling to negotiate. But Republicans are still trying.

“I call on the Democratic leaders of the Senate to act today on the measure passed by the House last night, and urge senators on both sides of the aisle to listen to the American people, who do not want a government shutdown and do not want the president’s health care law,” Boehner said.

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Alex Pappas