A Missouri Democrat said his colleagues on the Senate are telling House members to expect a “clean” continuing resolution in the lower chamber on Saturday that doesn’t include language to defund Obamacare.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) told Fox that the budget resolution should just fund the government for “a few months” while a longer-term solution is debated. “That will be nothing related to the Affordable Care Act in the legislation at all,” he said of the version expected Saturday.
“It’s going to be up to the speaker, and how he is — whether he is able to control what up until this point has been a rambunctious caucus, and so, he’s going to have to either squash that element in the caucus, or we’re headed toward a showdown on Monday that will result, I think, in a shutdown that will do enormous damage to this country,” Cleaver said. “And a lot of people are saying, it’s going to look bad, who’ll be blamed? The Republicans or the Democrats? I don’t think that is issue, at least it is not for me, the issue is we took an oath of office, we’ve – we were sworn in to fulfill our duty, that word duty is in and the out of office. And our duty is as the House is to put out a budget, we haven’t done that for years.”
But, the congressman conceded, “I am open to making some corrections in the Affordable Care Act. Look, it’s not a perfect bill. There are very few perfect bills.”
“There are going to be dark parts in it, and this — is obviously something that we didn’t anticipate, but there are some problem areas. And I have said for — since we were sworn in for this session of Congress that we need to open it up and look at some provisions that were not intended to cause problems, but did,” Cleaver continued.
He spoke to President Obama on Friday and was told that the White House will not negotiate on a defunding of Obamacare.
“Now, what I think he would negotiate is on making a deal that we will — let’s sit down and reason together, somebody said that. You know, let us reason together. And do that external to this process of the continuing resolution, and, of course, the debt ceiling. We have got to take a look at it. It makes all the sense in the world for us to do that,” Cleaver said.
“There are those Democrats and Republicans alike who have concerns about it. I have a good friend who has about seven restaurants, and he is concerned about, you know, what this is going to do. But what I would like to see, and I think that president would be amenable to it, is for John Boehner, speaker of the House, and Mr. McConnell to go to the White House after this deal or as a part of this deal making agreement that they will sit down and look at the troublesome parts to the Affordable Care Act. I think the president is open to that. He realizes that there are some flaws in that legislation.”
But, Cleaver added, on keeping Obamacare, the president “is as firm about that as he’s about keeping his name Barack Obama.”