September 30, 2013

Boehner: "The House has done its work"

A defiant House Speaker John Boehner insisted Monday morning the House "has done its work" on the budget, and urged the Senate to go along.

That's unlikely to happen. The House voted Sunday to delay Obamacare for a year and repeal the 2.3 percent medical device tax. The Democratic-led Senate is expected to reject those provisions later Monday.

"The House has done its work," Boehner said Monday in a House floor speech. "We passed a bill on Saturday night (actually early Sunday), sent it to the United States Senate - that would delay ObamaCare for one year, and would eliminate permanently the medical device tax that is costing us tens of thousands of jobs that are being shipped overseas.

“Senate decided not to work yesterday.  Well my goodness, if there’s such an emergency, where are they?  It's time for the Senate to listen to the American people just like the House has listened to the American people and to pass a one-year delay of ObamaCare and a permanent repeal of the medical device tax.”

Republicans would get most blame for shutdown--but Obama would get plenty

Republicans would get more of the blame for a government shutdown, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Monday.

The survey, conducted Friday through Sunday, found 46 percent would blame Republicans while 36 percent would blame President Barack Obama. Thirteen percent blame both sides. Unless Congress and Obama agree on a spending plan by midnight, parts of the government will begn shutting down.

The House of Representatives, run by Republicans, passed Sunday a plan to keep the government open, but the Democratic-led Senate is expected to reject it later Monday.

Obama gets some of the blame--people were split on whether he's acted like a responsible leader or a "spoiled child" during the budget debate. But 69 percent thought Republicans have acted like spoiled children.

The House budget bill delays implementation of the 2010 health care law--but 60 percent said it was more important to avoid a shutdown than change the health care law at the moment.

September 29, 2013

Next move in budget battle is up to the Senate, and Democrats are pessmistic

     The next move in the budget shutdown crisis is up to the Senate.  It is expected to reject the House’s Sunday action, which will then send the budget—with no delay in health care or any of the other add-ons—back to the House.

        It’s going to be rejected again and we’re going to face the prospect of shutting down, again," Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin, D-Ill., told CBS' "Face the Nation."

    Asked if he thought a shutdown was likely, Durbin said,  “I’m afraid I do,” after watching the House debate and vote early Sunday. The House voted to fund the government through November 15, delay implementing Obamacare for a year and repealing the 2.3 percent medical device tax.

    Here's where things stand at the moment:

Continue reading "Next move in budget battle is up to the Senate, and Democrats are pessmistic" »

House, in post-midnight Sunday votes, agrees to delay Obamacare

The House of Representatives set up a showdown with the Senate over funding the government, as Republicans pushed through their iniatives in a series of post-midnight votes Sunday.

First, the House passed a repeal of a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices, 248 to 174.

Then, it approved a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act, 231 to 192.

Finally, the House okayed a plan to continue military pay in the event of a shutdown.

The Senate, though, is expected to reject the health care plans. Senators are due to return at 2 p.m. Monday. If Congress does not agree by midnight Monday on a spending plan to keep the government running when fiscal 2014 begins Tuesday, parts of the government will begin shutting down.

September 28, 2013

House votes on Obamacare delay expected around 11 Saturday night

The House Rules Committee formalized the rules for debating the Republican plan on the budget and health care, and final votes are now expected between 11 p.m. and midnight Saturday.

The Republican-dominated panel approved an hour of debate on plans to delay Obamacare for a year and repeal the medical device tax, which helps fund the health care law.

There will be another 40 minutes of debate on allowing military personnel to be paid in the event of a shutdown, and an hour debate on the rules themselves.

Republicans have a 233 to 200 seat House majority, and passage of all the measures is expected.

House will vote Saturday on plan to delay Obamacare, keep government open

The House of Representatives plans to vote later Saturday on a budget plan that would delay the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, for a year.

It would also repeal the 2.3 percent medical device tax, and fund the government through Dec. 15.

The Senate Friday approved a measure that funds the government through Nov. 15 and  keeps the health care law intact.

Since Republicans control the House, passage of the new plan is expected--setting up a showdown with the Senate, which is not scheduled to return until Monday.

Here's House Speaker John Boehner's statement Saturday:

"The American people don’t want a government shut down and they don’t want ObamaCare. That’s why later today, the House will vote on two amendments to the Senate-passed continuing resolution that will keep the government open and stop as much of the president’s health care law as possible.

“The first amendment delays the president’s health care law by one year. And the second permanently repeals ObamaCare’s medical device tax that is sending jobs overseas.

“Both of these amendments will change the date of the Senate CR to December 15th. We will also vote on a measure that ensures our troops get paid, no matter what.

“We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown.”


September 27, 2013

Senate votes 54-44 to restore Obamacare funding

The Senate Friday moved an important step closer to passing a budget that would keep the government open past Tuesday while restoring Obamacare funding, as it voted 54 to 44 to restore Obamacare funding to the fiscal 2014 budget.

The House of Representatives had stripped the funds in a vote last week.

Earlier Friday, the Senate voted 79 to 19 to cut off any a debate led by the plan’s opponents.

A final vote on the budget is expected later Friday afternoon.

The votes in the Democratic-controlled Senate set up a showdown with the Republican-led House.  The House last week approved a stopgap budget that defunds the 2010 health care law. Senators from both parties have warned that keeping that provision will lead to a partial government shutdown, since the Senate will never approve it.

The House, though, is remaining resolute. It plans to meet Saturday to consider the Senate action, and so far, has shown little inclination to pass a budget that keeps the Obamacare money intact.

Unless Congress agrees on a budget plan by Monday night, the government will run out of spending authority Tuesday.

The Senate votes followed an often tense week of debate that featured a 21 hour, 19 minute talkathon Tuesday and Wednesday led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. Democrats, though, argued that the conservative effort made little sense; Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., urged colleagues Friday to strip the budget bill of "ideological riders."

September 23, 2013

Americans want compromise, Gallup finds

Americans want compromise.

A new Gallup poll released Monday found 53 percent want their political leaders to compromise, more than double the number want them to stick to their beliefs.

Congress is currently sparring over how to fund the federal government after Oct. 1. The House of Representatives Friday passed legislation to defund Obamacare while keeping the government running, but the Democratic-led Senate is expected to reject the health care provision.

Constituents don't want all this bickering.

"There has always been a fine line between a representative's sticking to his or her principles in congressional debates and votes, and in some instances being willing to compromise those principles in order to reach an agreement," Gallup said in an analysis.

"The American people at the moment clearly tilt toward the sentiment that their representatives -- as a whole -- should compromise on important matters, even if it means voting against a particular representative's principles. Of course, these sentiments are measured in reference to Congress as a whole without respect to specific issues. It's quite possible that Americans would feel their particular representative should not compromise on issues of great importance to them personally"

The pollster noted that Congress' approval ratings remain low. "Gallup surveys show that the primary reason Americans give for their disapproval is indeed that Congress won't compromise and manage to find agreement on issues," it said. "The current data suggest that if Congress is unable to find a way to avert a government shutdown or doesn't deal with the debt ceiling, its approval rating has little chance of getting better, and a significant probability of dropping even lower."

To read more:http://www.gallup.com/poll/164570/americans-desire-gov-leaders-compromise-increases.aspx

September 21, 2013

GOP governor: "We just need Washington to pause, reflect"

As tension mounts over whether the White House and Republicans can reach agreement on a budget, Republicans used their weekly address to urge people to look to the  states for guidance.

“It’s no accident that the fastest growing states with the best economies are all led by Republican governors," said Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

He didn't get into the details of the ongoing battle in Washington, instead describing his own state's experience. 

“These states differ geographically, economically, and even politically," Sandoval said. "But our ideas have and continue to work.

“Our founding fathers got it right.  Free enterprise and limited government have made, and will continue to make, this country great. Despite all we have endured, I could not be more proud and optimistic about the greatest nation on earth."

“I am confident that our core convictions provide the surest path to an America where economic opportunity still abounds, hard work still rewards, and dreams are still realized."

He also urged calm: “We just need Washington to pause, reflect, and see what is possible in our great nation."

To see the address:http://www.republican.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=weekly

September 20, 2013

Americans gloomy about kids' future--but the kids aren't

Americans are worried and pessimistic about the future. Their children are more hopeful.

A new Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll released Friday describes its overall findings as "downbeat."

If reported that two of three people think that when today's children grow up, "they'll have less financial security, with a poorer chance of holding a steady job and owning a home without too much debt."

Sixty-two percent thought their children will have "less opportunity to achieve a comfortable retirement."

A poll analysis, though, found "in the face of this intense pessimism on the part of adults, teenagers are much more optimistic and clearly feel the older generations have it wrong."

Here's the finding: "More than half of the teens surveyed (54 percent) say they believe it's better to be a teenager today than it was when their parents were growing up. A plurality (45 percent) believe that when they are their parents' age, they will have more opportunity to get ahead than the previous generation. Just 24 percent of teens say they will have less opportunity". 

To read more: http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/the-american-dream-under-threat-20130919

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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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