House Republicans emerged from behind closed doors Saturday with a new temporary spending bill that calls for a one-year delay in ObamaCare and a repeal of the law’s medical-device tax.
“ObamaCare is not ready, and the delay is essential,” California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Affairs, said before lashing out at a reporter. “How dare you assume this will be a failure. How dare you.”
House leaders said the proposal will fund the federal government – except for ObamaCare – through December 15. It now goes before the chamber’s rules committee, and a full floor vote is expected by Saturday evening.
The House plan will also have a separate bill that funds the military in the event of a shutdown.
The medical device tax is one of the Obama administration’s primary revenue sources for ObamaCare.
The House earlier this month sent a spending bill to the Senate that called for defunding President Obama’s health-care law.
On Friday, the Senate passed a temporary spending bill that re-inserted the ObamaCare funding and funds the government through Nov. 15.
The Senate returned the funding despite efforts by Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz — a conservative, Tea Party-backed lawmaker – to block that effort.
Failure to pass a short-term funding bill by Monday night would mean the first partial government shutdown in almost 20 years.
The Senate’s 54-44 vote was strictly along party lines in favor of the bill, which would prevent a shutdown of nonessential government services.
That tally followed a 79-19 vote to cut off a filibuster by Cruz, which exposed a rift among Republicans eager to prevent a shutdown and those, like Cruz, who seem willing to risk one over derailing the health care law.
All 52 Democrats, two independents and 25 of 44 Republicans voted in favor. That included Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and most of the GOP leadership.
Cruz was whipping up House conservatives to continue the battle over heath care, urging them to reject efforts by Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders to offer scaled-back assaults on the law like repealing a tax on medical devices as the House response.
Some conservatives were taking their cues from Cruz rather than GOP leaders like Boehner hoping to avoid a shutdown, especially one that could weaken Republicans heading into an even more important battle later in October over allowing the government to borrow more money.
Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, attempted Saturday to move the debate to next budget-battle deadline — Oct. 17 when Congress must increase the government’s borrowing limit or risk defaulting on its debt.
Republican want spending cuts as part of the deal, but the White House has said it engage in extortion negotiations.