Senate Torpedoes House’s Latest Obamacare Delay (Updated)
Updated 4:05 p.m. | The Senate voted to table House amendments intended to delay Obamacare and repeal a medical device tax.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wasted no time when the Senate came in Monday at 2 p.m. He made the motion, which cannot be filibustered, without any debate.
The amendments were on a House-passed bill to keep the government funded past Tuesday. If the House and Senate do not act before midnight tonight to fund government agencies, the government will shut down.
The vote occurred largely along party lines, 54-46.
The Senate also approved by unanimous consent a bill that would continue to pay American military personnel in the event of a shutdown. On Sunday, the House unanimously passed the legislation, which would apply to active-duty servicemen as well as some civilian and Department of Defense contractors, so the bill now goes to President Barack Obama’s desk.
At a press conference following the vote, Senate Democratic leaders continued to insist they would not take up any stopgap spending measure that includes policy riders.
“The best analogy I can think of — let’s say Nancy Pelosi, during the [2008 Wall Street bailout] debate, when the world economy was teetering on the edge of a cliff, and George Bush was president and needed the vote, said she wouldn’t pass TARP unless Republicans rolled back all the Bush tax cuts,” said Senate Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles E. Schumer.
The New York Democrat continued, “What they’re asking is the No. 1 priority of the first Obama administration, just like the Bush tax cuts were of their administration. So it would be like a group of members, if we gave into this, next, what about a group of rural members saying we’re going to shut down the government unless we get the farm bill just as we like? What, what about a group of civil libertarians saying we’ll shut down the government unless NSA stops the metadata program? It could go on and on. It would be absurd, and it would be unprecedented.”