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Obamacare Defunding Likely to be Kicked Back to the House

Senate GOPs are running out of options as Cruz's marathon speech won't stop tomorrow's procedural vote on the CR.

by
Bill Straub

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September 24, 2013 - 4:27 pm
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WASHINGTON – Tea Party Republicans in the Senate are running out of options in their frantic effort to defund Obamacare, meaning the task will likely be handed back over to the House for a final showdown.

The campaign to bleed the Affordable Care Act dry, championed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), suffered a near fatal blow when Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, announced that he would not support a filibuster to bottle up a House-passed continuing resolution that provides temporary funding for the federal government while simultaneously blocking the financing of the wide-ranging health care reform law.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, who controls the flow of legislation to the floor, appears to have the votes necessary to remove the language defunding Obamacare from the House-passed resolution. If he succeeds the measure goes to the House, setting the stage for a nasty conference committee negotiation.

Complicating matters is the continuing resolution. The federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, leaving the government without the authority to spend money unless a temporary financing bill is approved. Reid has scheduled a test vote for Wednesday with a final vote likely coming at some point over the weekend.

It was Cruz who took the counter-intuitive step of rallying GOP support to filibuster the resolution he initially urged the lower chamber to adopt – arguing it was the only remaining avenue available in the upper chamber to kill Obamacare funding. But the proposal was quickly deflected by the Republican leadership.

Spokesman Sean Rushton said Cruz wants to block a vote on the continuing resolution out of concern that Reid, who controls the flow of legislation to the floor, “will strip the crucial defunding language.” A filibuster fending off cloture would “block him from changing the bill.”

“We’ll use any procedural means necessary to protect the House bill and keep debate open, standing guard against any attempt to reduce this opportunity to another show vote,” Rushton said. “Americans want Congress to pass a bill that funds government but defunds Obamacare and the House worked hard to pass one. Sen. Reid must not be allowed to add Obamacare funding back into the House-passed bill.”

But McConnell, speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, dismissed the strategy, saying only full repeal “will fully help those trapped by this law.”

“And that’s why I’m supporting the House-passed CR,” McConnell said, rejecting the filibuster effort. “Not only does it defund this terrible law, it doesn’t increase government spending by a penny and it keeps the government from shutting down, which nobody wants. And it does something else — it puts the focus right where it belongs — on the Democrats who voted and continue to vote for Obamacare.”

Democrats, McConnell said, “have been hearing the same complaints about Obamacare the rest of us have.” Reid can afford to lose only four of his party’s votes if he hopes to restore the funding. Proceeding to a vote, he said, constitutes a better strategy.

“This is a rare opportunity to defund this law with a simple majority,” McConnell said. “We should have that vote. I just don’t happen to think filibustering a bill that defunds Obamacare is the best route to defunding Obamacare. All it does is shut down the government and keep Obamacare funded. And none of us want that.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Listening to Sen Ted Cruz, he makes more sense than 95% of the Senate. Makes you wonder, who really are the "Wacko Birds" in this august chamber. The GOP leadership is showing their true colors on this issue, and all the major issues this country faces, and that color is yellow on yellow.
1 year ago
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my classmate's sister-in-law makes $77/hour on the laptop. She has been without work for nine months but last month her paycheck was $21349 just working on the laptop for a few hours. .......:> w­w­w.j­o­b­s­6­0.c­o­m
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
my classmate's step-aunt makes $67 an hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 10 months but last month her paycheck was $15091 just working on the computer for a few hours. over at this website.............Buzz55.ℂom
Open HOME tab for exciting details
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
my co-worker's half-sister makes $73 every hour on the internet. She has been out of a job for nine months but last month her pay check was $14722 just working on the internet for a few hours. explanation....W­W­W.F­O­X­8­6.C­O­M
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hope Mrs. McConnell runs his campaign.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I can not say Obamacare the rest of my life, so hereceforth it is ACA!

Obama the Narcissist would like nothing better than force us to use him name for all eternity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The House should remove the Congressional Carve-Out.
Make the Senate vote on that.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When Sen. Cruz reaches the end of his "talk," I think it would be cool if he yelled, "THIS IS SPARTA!"


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well Mitch McConnel, which one was it, "a dead girl or a live boy"?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There was never any way to "defund" Obama-Care, its funding is statutory through its own provisions and the tax codes. The budget can affect some administrative costs at the margins, but even they were mostly built-in.

This is a seat-of-the-pants "plan" which never had a chance of doing anything but shutting the government down. The Senate's rules aren't some gimmick imposed to thwart Cruz, he just didn't pay any attention to them. This is amateur hour, not some well-thought-out strategy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Estragon: I tried to "like" your comment in response to Matt Vespa's article but it didn't work. Nor could I reply to your comment. I don't think our opinions are very welcome regarding this issue. Too bad Conservatives seem to be borrowing intolerance from the hard Left.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
yes, putting the i.r.s. in charge of enforcement. brilliant. let's put the obamabots who have been targeting the kenyan's political enemies in charge of a 20,000 page financial monstrosity. what could go wrong?

methinks there is more afoot here than meets the eye. the little peeping tom-barry has got the goods on most of congress I believe w/ his illegal spying on everybody. commie 101. what else explains this traitorous stance on something that is bound to empty people's coffers right into the little hjitler's friend's pocketbooks and destroy our country? quality down. prices up. no brainer.

this is stupidity on steroids.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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