House GOP leaders delay vote on spending bill after conservatives rebel
September 11th, 2013
03:56 PM ET
8 months ago

House GOP leaders delay vote on spending bill after conservatives rebel

Washington (CNN) – House Republican leaders postponed a vote on government funding legislation until next week after many conservatives made it clear they wouldn’t back it because it doesn’t fully defund Obamacare.

The government will shut down if Congress does not approve a new annual spending plan by October 1, the start of the new federal budget year.

A vote on the bill, called a continuing resolution, to fund federal programs through December 15 had been slated for Thursday. No new date was announced.

But GOP leaders still struggled for support because many of their own members believe the language in the package on health care funding simply amounts to a "gimmick."

Since many House Republicans pledged to oppose any spending bill that doesn’t also block money for Obamacare, Republican leaders crafted a plan to pair a spending blueprint with a separate resolution barring the use of federal funds to implement new health care law.

It also would require the Senate to vote on defunding the controversial health care law before it could vote on the short-term spending bill.

But conservatives object to that strategy because the Democratic-led Senate would likely reject the resolution and simply pass the spending bill that includes money for new healthcare programs.

The politically charged health care law was approved in 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court last year. But conservatives are now taking aim at bureaucratic and funding steps required to get the programs running this fall.

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp, slammed the House GOP proposal, calling it "hocus pocus on this parliamentary maneuver. People see through it."

He vowed that there were more than enough House Republicans who wanted to tie Obamacare defunding directly to the spending bill.

"It is important that we take a stand and put forward our priority which is delaying and defunding Obamacare," Michigan Republican Rep Bill Huizenga told CNN.

Huizenga said he's not satisfied with the current strategy on the bill, but said GOP leaders haven't reached out to him to explain why they think it's the best approach.

Senior House GOP leadership aides say they are still talking to members who just returned from a five-week recess about the details of their plan and feel confident that they will pull together the votes by next week.

But those efforts are complicated by several conservative outside groups pressuring House Republicans to vote against the bill and demand a showdown with Democrats over health care funding.

House GOP leaders can't count on much help from House Democrats. The Republican bill takes into account the mandatory and sweeping federal spending cuts that took effect in March that were required under a 2011 budget deal. Democrats oppose that, insisting on higher spending levels for domestic programs.

"I am not going to vote to continue the sequester," the No. 2 House Democrat, Steny Hoyer, told reporters on Tuesday, arguing the level set in the bill was "totally unacceptable and irresponsible."

There are currently 233 House Republicans so GOP leaders can only afford to lose 17 votes in order to pass the procedural vote to bring up the spending bill.

Republicans want to avoid a protracted fight over spending that would mean different versions of the government funding bill going back and forth between the House and Senate.

They are concerned that that forced cuts would ultimately be dropped in negotiations over the measure with the Senate.

"The sequester would never survive if we ping-pong this," one senior House GOP aide told CNN.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid requested a meeting with top congressional leaders to discuss fiscal issues.

On Thursday morning, Reid is scheduled to huddle with House Speaker John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell in Boehner's office.


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soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Evergreen

    Why can't they fight to defund corporate welfare. Why fight to prevent greater access to healthcare.

    September 11, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. O'drama ya Mama

    Mel

    Yes, by all means, change the subject from Obama's Syria fiasco to something that he can blame Republicans for.
    September 11, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Its not what he can blame them for its what the American people will blame them for. If i recall just a few days ago there were people complaining that Syria was a "distraction" for Obamacare, now Obamacare is a "distraction" for Syria? Damned if you do, damned if you dont.

    September 11, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Tom

    "If I don't get my way, I'm taking my ball n going home" – every democrat

    FIFY

    IOIYAD

    September 11, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. Lynda/Minnesota

    "If I don't get my way I'm taking my ball and I'm going home" – GOP/Tea Trolls"

    It's a crying shame Mr. Boehner can't even control his own caucus. I see no improvement for America in the next few years. Apparently this makes the GOP very happy. I'm done trying to understand why.

    September 11, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  5. Data Driven

    Would CNN, or any other mainstream outlet, care to describe how Obamacare can be "defunded" without a government shutdown?

    September 11, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. just saying

    luke,az
    It's way past time to remove the wacko doodle republicans who are ruining our country. Vote them out !
    --

    what planet do you live on? the republicans have controlled the house for 3 years going on 4. if the democrats couldn't take the house back with obama at the top of the ticket, they never will. the american people have spoken loud and clear through two election cycles now, they want the house controlled by republicans to stop obama's and the democrat's far left agenda. that is how they got elected in 2010. we expect them to continue to do that job.

    September 11, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. teaparty days are numbered

    if the teaparty shuts down the gubment we as a people need to ride into D.C.and pull an ol'#6 on their asses.

    September 11, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. O'drama ya Mama

    Tom

    "If I don't get my way, I'm taking my ball n going home" – every democrat

    FIFY

    IOIYAD
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Umm hey buddy, I kinda already posted that before you and you passed that quote to the wrong people. Its the GOP that said that not the democrats, you see the democrats won the last 2 elections we have nothing to cry about.

    September 11, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  9. just asking

    Data Driven
    Would CNN, or any other mainstream outlet, care to describe how Obamacare can be "defunded" without a government shutdown?
    --

    does the entire government shut down when the post office runs out of money? of course not. they go to congress for more. any and all programs associated with obamacare will stop. obamacare is not the entire federal government which is what the dishonest and deceitful democrats would have people believe.

    September 11, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. AZ Girl

    So, once more, you will take the risk of another drop in the credit rating, for what? Do you really think that defunding healthcare will stop it? Nope, it won't. But you go right ahead and see where you are come mid-terms.

    September 11, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Marcus

    'Tom – "If I don't get my way, I'm taking my ball n going home" – every democrat. FIFY. IOIYAD.'

    The sad part is that you (probably) actually believe in that.

    September 11, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    Data Driven: "Would CNN, or any other mainstream outlet, care to describe how Obamacare can be "defunded" without a government shutdown?"

    Now you made me smile, Data. Thanks, I needed the smile today.

    And, oh yeah ... good luck with your question which in my opinion is well worth asking. I'm sure the MSM will get right on it. Or not.

    September 11, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. don in albuquerque

    @just blowin"-Dream on. Is that how MittWitt got elected?

    September 11, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    "does the entire government shut down when the post office runs out of money? of course not, they go to congress
    for more"..........

    Bingo! Congress does hold the purse strings, and they alone have obligated the debts America holds, and they
    alone are required to pay the bills. If they don't, they shut down the government. Looks like they don't care
    as long as they can keep the obstruction going. Guess that's what the Tea Party loves, until it hits them in
    their own pockets--and that's when they "go to Congress for more". Whacko birds for sure.
    Just sayin'

    September 11, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. ghostwriter

    just saying

    if the democrats couldn't take the house back with obama at the top of the ticket, they never will. the american people have spoken loud and clear through two election cycles now, they want the house controlled by republicans to stop obama's and the democrat's far left agenda. that is how they got elected in 2010. we expect them to continue to do that job.

    Ummmm......if the will of the people was to stop Obama, I kinda think they would have said so in 2012. Unless you mean the people want to have at least 2 more years of a congress with record breaking low approval ratings.

    September 11, 2013 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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