WASHINGTON (USA TODAY) -- Congress shows no sign of heading off the first government shutdown
in 17 years as House Republicans were holding firm Monday against a
stopgap bill that does not in some way affect President Obama's health
As soon as the Senate came in to session on Monday,
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tabled without debate two
House-passed amendments to the spending bill that would delay
implementation of the law for one year and repeal a 2.3% tax on medical
devices enacted to help pay for the law.
See Also: 5 things to know about government shutdown
The Senate voted 54-46 along party lines. "We're at the brink," said
Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., "We're just
hours away from a possible government shutdown."
and Reid maintain that the only way to avoid a shutdown is to approve
the Senate-passed stopgap spending bill through Nov. 15 with no
extraneous provisions on Obamacare.
House Republicans were scheduled to huddle at 2 p.m. to discuss their next step.
of the health care law is already in place, including provisions that
expand prescription drug discounts and allow children up to age 26 to
remain on their parents' health insurance policies. Tuesday is the first
day for uninsured Americans to shop for and buy health insurance
policies on state websites, also called exchanges.
Monday that he is not resigned to a government shutdown and that he
would speak to some members of Congress later in the day.
unclear what Republicans will do next. House Majority Whip Kevin
McCarthy, R-Calif., has said the House is prepared to volley back to the
Senate for a third time provisions affecting Obamacare, but Republicans
have not solidified around a plan.GOP members should "set aside
short-term politics and look at the long-term here," Obama told
reporters after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is unlikely to put
the Senate-passed spending resolution to keep the government running
through Dec. 15 on the House floor unless it is clear that a critical
mass of Republicans will support it. House Republicans could also put
forward an even shorter stopgap measure for one week or less to keep the
government open and buy leaders more time.
"We're at an impasse
that can only be resolved by Speaker Boehner going to his caucus and
saying, 'Enough is enough,'" said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the top
Democrat on the House Budget Committee and a former campaign committee
chairman, at a breakfast hosted Monday by The Christian Science Monitor.
a shutdown does happen--and it looks increasingly likely it will - Van
Hollen said he's not sure when it will end. "I think the scary thing
about this period we're in is that there's no clear end point to a
shutdown," he said.
The last time the government shut down was in
1995-1996 for a combined period of 28 days during budget standoffs
between the Clinton administration and a Republican Congress. Most
Americans would not feel the affects of a short-term shutdown because
most essential government operations would continue, but a longer-term
shutdown could negatively affect the economy and federal workers and
inconvenience Americans in need of government services.