With the federal fiscal year quickly coming to an end, the U.S. House and Senate are still jostling to figure out what kind of continuing resolution it will pass. A continuing resolution is a type of appropriations legislation used by Congress to fund government if a formal appropriations bill hasn’t been passed by Sept. 30.
A group of very vocal, very conservative House Republicans wants so badly to kill the Affordable Care Act, that they are willing to allow a government shutdown on Oct. 1 by forgoing a continuing resolution that would provide funding to keep government operating.
For awhile, it looked like House Speaker John Boehner wasn’t going to capitulate to his right flank and take any chance of allowing that to happen. On Wednesday, however, he announced that he’s going to allow a vote on Friday that will provide funding to keep the government open, while stripping away money to implement portions of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.
This is what the House conservatives were demanding.
It’s a risky move because the Senate has made clear that any measure it passes will retain funding for ACA, and Obama himself said he would not sign any measure that did not include funding for ACA.
The Senate intends to pass its own continuing resolution that includes funding for ACA.
Some pundits believe that Boehner hopes that sending the stopgap measure to the Senate might be enough to placate the right wing members of his caucus. Those members can then say they’ve tried and some sort of stopgap measure will then be passed that keeps government open.
According to Rep. Don Young’s office, this is exactly what some of the Republican right wing turks in the Senate — namely Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz — have asked for.
“(T)here is a vocal group of Republicans in the Senate that are demanding we use passing the CR (continuing resolution) as a vehicle to defund Obamacare,” Young’s spokesman Mike Anderson said. “House Republicans intend to give the Senate that chance.”
Anderson then goes on to point out that the House has voted more than 40 times to defund some or all of ACA. “(F)or the first time since it was forced through Congress without a single Republican vote, the Senate will finally be forced to show the American people where they stand with regards to this awful law,” he said.
Partisan politics will likely continue to play out for the remaining days of the fiscal year. The political showdown has just started. While some political observers believe that a continuing resolution will be passed to avert a shutdown, others aren’t so sure.
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