The government is teetering on the brink of a partial shutdown and congressional Republicans are vowing to keep using an otherwise routine federal funding bill to try to attack the president's health care law.
Congress was closed for the day Sunday after a post-midnight vote in the GOP-run House to delay by a year key parts of the new health care law and repeal a tax on medical devices, in exchange for avoiding a shutdown.
The Senate is set to convene Monday afternoon, just hours before the shutdown deadline. Majority Leader Harry Reid has already promised that Democrats would kill the House's latest volley.
Since the last government shutdown 17 years ago, temporary funding bills known as continuing resolutions have been noncontroversial, with neither party willing to chance a shutdown to achieve legislative goals it couldn't otherwise win. But with health insurance exchanges set to open on Tuesday, tea-party Republicans are willing to take the risk in their drive to kill the health care law.
Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) issued the following statement after voting in favor of H.J. Res. 59, an amended continuing resolution which would keep the government open, delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act for one year, and permanently repeal the Medical Device Tax:
“Tonight, [Saturday] the House of Representatives has again acted to keep the government open and to spare the American people from Obamacare, which is driving up health care costs, limiting access to care, and reducing hours and wages for America’s workers. While I continue to favor full repeal of Obamacare, a one year delay would at least give Nebraska families, businesses, and health care providers temporary relief from the mandates, taxes, and other negative consequences of the law.
“Divided government means no one will get everything they want. Delaying implementation of Obamacare is a reasonable compromise, but the House cannot act alone. President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid have refused to negotiate even though the health care law clearly is not ready to be implemented, and many Democrats acknowledge problems in the law. It is time for all sides to come to the table and find agreement.”