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article imageOp-Ed: House holds government funding hostage again

By William M. Schmalfeldt     Sep 30, 2013 in Politics
Washington - In a nearly party-line vote, the US House of Representatives voted to send a bill to the US Senate to fund the government for another six weeks, knowing that neither the Senate nor President Obama would accept the "poison pills" contained in the bill.

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By a 228-201 vote, the House elected to tell the Senate that they preferred to shut down the government rather than give an inch to President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which was passed by both houses of Congress and upheld by the US Supreme Court as being constitutional.
Moderate Republicans balked, saying they did not want to risk a shutdown; conservatives complained that his measure didn't go nearly far enough to destroy Obamacare, and Democrats remained nearly united against tinkering with the Affordable Care Act. Twelve Republicans and eight Democrats voted against it. Republicans voting against the bill were Reps. Phil Gingrey (GA), Peter King (NY), Thomas Massie (KY), Paul Broun (GA.), Jo Barton (TX), Mike Rogers (AL), Louie Gohmert (TX), Kay Granger (TX), Charlie Dent (PA), Mario Diaz Balart (FL), Steve King (IA), and Michele Bachmann (MN). Bachmann was on record as saying the bill did not go far enough to denude Obamacare
Democrats supporting the vote included Ron Barber (D-AZ) who replaced Gabby Giffords in the seat when she was nearly killed in January 2012. John Barrow (D-GA), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Dan Maffei (D-NY), Sean Maloney, (D-NY), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Seemingly somewhat under the weather, a wobbly Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-Ohio), slurred, stammered and shouted that the GOP bill was about fairness. The bill would fund the government, while delaying the individual mandate requiring people to get healthcare or pay a fine for one year, and would strip the government subsidy to members of Congress, their staff members, the President and other top Administration officials to help pay for Obamacare, should they decide to go that route instead of keeping their current health care in place.
"I would say to the president: This is not about me," Boehner said. "This is not about Republicans here in Congress. It's about fairness for the American people."
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) angrily challenged the speaker, actually daring him to bring the Senate's clean continuing resolution to the floor for a vote.
There was an abortive attempt on behalf of some of the House's more veteran and "moderate" Republicans to vote against the rule that allowed the Speaker to bring the vote to the House floor. After Rep. Peter King, (R-NY) told reporters that he believed he had 25 votes against the rule, he could only muster six.
As a result of the vote, the bill will be sent back to the Senate, which will likely table it without action. The president has said he will not sign any bill that affects Obamacare.
At midnight Tuesday morning, the Federal government will run out of money.
According to a story in USA TODAY:
More than 40% of federal workers across the nation face furlough if the government shuts down Tuesday. Social Security recipients will receive benefits, mail service will continue and taxes will still be collected. But the impact will be great, and it will spread far beyond Washington and the federal buildings scattered across the nation. Although many workers will be expected to show up to work, they will be paid with IOUs, to be cashed in when the government is funded once again.
One sign of just how ridiculous this whole process has been, earlier in the day, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) called Republicans who voted along with the latest plan, which is likely to trigger a government shutdown, "lemmings."
"I would say the leadership has been backed into a corner by the lemmings," he said just hours earlier. "But I'd be hesitant to refer to them as lemmings because that'd be an insult to lemmings."
When push came to shove, Rep. Nunes went over the cliff with the rest of the lemmings.
Nunes reiterated Monday evening said he would also support a "clean" CR if it came up for a vote."
The Senate immediately reconvened to consider the bag of goods sent to them by the House. They voted to kill the House amendments and resend for a third time, a clean continuing resolution to the House of Representatives. The Senate motion to table the House bill passed on a party-line 54-46 vote. Only a simple majority was needed to table the bill.
Unless the Speaker of the House decides to buck the Tea Party wing of the party, meaning an end to his Speakership but demonstrating leadership, and bring a vote on the clean continuing resolution sent back by the Senate, government will shut down at midnight Tuesday morning.
And the dance continues into the night
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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