September 30, 2013

In case of a shutdown, Obama would retain a quarter of his staff

Just like everyone else in federal govenment, the White House is preparing for a shutdown.

In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget, the White House indicates 436 employees at the executive office of the president will remain on the job while 1,265 employees will be furoughed.

Those that remain include 15 at the executive residence, 12 at the vice president's office, 42 at national security and 118 at the Office of Management and Budget.

See the full list by agency here.

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.

Carney: House Republicans are voting to shut down the government

White House spokesman Jay Carney said that House Republicans acted Saturday to shut down the federal government.

"Republicans in Congress had the opportunity to pass a routine, simple continuing resolution that keeps the government running for a few more weeks," he said in a statement. "But instead, Republicans decided they would rather make an ideological point by demanding the sabotage of the health care law."

Carney said President Barack Obama is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway but that "he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy."

"Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown," he said. "It's time for the House to listen to the American people and act, as the Senate has, in a reasonable way to pass a bill that keeps the government running and move on."

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 back Monday at 2, House GOP caucuses Saturday at noon

The Senate will return at 2 p.m. Monday, the last day of the fiscal year.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to meet Saturday, but the action will first come when Republicans meet privately starting at noon.

They have the potential for drama, since the Senate Friday approved a stopgap budget plan that includes Obamacare funding. House Republicans are balking at the Obamacare money.

But the Republicans differ on tactics. Some want to try again to push stripping the money, some don't. If the House does pass legislation that needs Senate approval, though, it'll have to wait till Monday to see if the Senate goes along--and the Senate's Democratic leaders have said they will not accept any dilution of Obamacare.

Obama to Republicans: Pass a budget

President Barack Obama sought to put pressure on Republican lawmakers to come to a deal to keep the federal government running in an impromptu speech at the White House Friday afternoon.

"So far, the Republicans in the House of Representatives have refused to move forward," Obama said "And in fact, if you've been following the discussion, the Republicans in the House don't even make a pretense that, that's what this is about. Instead the House Republicans are so concerned about appeasing the tea party that they've threatened a government shutdown, or worse, unless I gut or repeal the the Affordable Care Act."

Obama said his message is: "Do not shut down the government. Do not shut down the economy. Pass a budget on time. Pay our bills on time. Refocus on the everyday concerns of the American people." 

Continue reading "Obama to Republicans: Pass a budget" »

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