House GOP Whip: If Reid Strips Obamacare Language, House to Send Back Something 'Very Different'
The House Majority Whip said last night that while Senate Democrats will likely send the lower chamber a "clean" continuing resolution stripped of Obamacare defunding, the House will respond to the Senate with something "very different."
But, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) maintained, a government shutdown is not expected despite Monday's deadline.
McCarthy, on Fox, gave Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) props for bringing attention to Obamacare: "Anybody that can stand up 21 hours makes the case deserves the respect being able to do that." Cruz now opposes cloture on the bill requested from the House because he doesn't want Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow an amendment that strips the defunding language.
The Senate cloture vote is expected at 12:30 p.m. today.
"There'll be plenty of time for the House to analyze what they do. If we want to do something, we will send back to them in another provision," McCarthy said. "I believe there'll be something much different that will go back to the Senate."
The whip said that doesn't risk the possibility of a shutdown.
"Nobody wants a shut down. Look, what's most interesting here, you have seven bills that have become law that have eight different provisions that have changed in Obamacare. You have 70 current Democrats that sit in that Capitol in the House of Representatives that have voted for those provisions to be changed," he said.
"I believe there can be real change as we move forward. And that is why there is plenty of time to look at what they have, to act just as the founders created one body and another, to put their views and send it back."
McCarthy claimed "you don't hear from any Republicans saying they want a shut down."
"We have gone through this process before. We have not shut down since we have become the majority. So, that stuff is just for a political argument. What the argument we want to start having is about policy, the policy of an idea of a system that is hurting health care and hurting America," he continued.
"I mean, you found the majority of Americans disagree with this bill. When you find a new business everyday saying this is harming the health care that individuals are getting provided. When you have a study saying if Obamacare has been in effect ten years, there'll still be 30 million uninsured. It does not do the job that the president went out to sell to the country. So, why don't we do something different?"
He demonstrated that Republican leaders' minds are more focused on the next big fight over the debt ceiling, where they aim to wrestle spending cuts out of the administration.
"Sixty-one percent of Americans believe you should negotiate on the debt ceiling. We have a $17 trillion debt. People want to see a difference in the direction of where we're going. It's from a 2-1 margin American public wanted to negotiate," McCarthy said.
"The president has a time to negotiate with Iran, has a time to negotiate with Russia, but he doesn't have a time to negotiate about the American direction in our economy. That's unacceptable. We welcome the president to negotiate with us. We want to -- why do you want to continue just to add to the debt? Don't we want to get this economy moving again? We have pro-growth, tax reform, Keystone Pipeline."