A centrist Republican lawmaker said “it shouldn’t be very difficult to reconcile the differences between the two positions” between the House continuing resolution discussed in conference this morning and the Senate position.
“Essentially use I believe the same time frames for the C.R. and the debt limit as in the Senate negotiations,” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) told MSNBC after emerging from the GOP meeting. “I believe that would be January 15th for the C.R. and February 7th or 8th for the debt limit. It would strike the re-insurance tax, that $63 per head tax for the large self-insurers and the large unions. That would be out and replaced with a two-year delay of the medical device tax plus a variation or derivative of the Vitter language minus the congressional staff that would affect the Congress and I think the White House and White House staff.”
The amendment by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) seeks to not exclude Congress and the White House from Obamacare exchange requirements.
“Look, if the House decides send over this bill today and the Senate launches, then I think there should be — it shouldn’t be very difficult to reconcile the differences between the two positions,” Dent continued.
“Personally, I prefer the medical device tax repeal or delay. That’s my preference. But, look, I’m not going to — I understand very clearly that we have to run this government, we have to fund it, get it reopened, and meet our obligations and not default. That’s what’s driving this. The other issues I think will work themselves out, but I do believe there is a basic outline for a compromise.”
Dent was one of the House Republicans who opposed moving toward the shutdown based on Obamacare opposition.
“I hope that some lessons were learned. I really do. And I hope that the people who are, you know, more interested in shutting down the government understand we have very basic responsibilities. And between now and whenever that next deadline is or the next alarm clock goes off we’re going to have to deal with a broader fiscal reform, and that means people are going to have to be very serious,” he said.
“And we’re not asking anybody to check their ideologies at the door. We’re asking people to be a problem solver and be pragmatic and get the job done. You know, none of these agreements have everything I like in them, but at the end of the day, people have to have a capacity to vote yes or to get the yes. And that’s what’s sorely lacking on both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C., these days.”