Reid: House votes 'pointless'
September 28th, 2013
04:37 PM ET
12 months ago

Reid: House votes 'pointless'

Washington (CNN) - Harry Reid is never one to mince words.

The Senate majority leader made it abundantly clear Saturday that a House vote on the two proposed amendments to the Senate-passed continuing resolution, which funds the Affordable Care Act, is "pointless" and that a revised bill would go nowhere in the upper chamber, declaring that "the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists."


"The Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government funding bill or the debt ceiling," Reid said in a statement.

Reid reprised a spokesman's statements from earlier in the week that attempting to delay the implementation of Obamacare for a year or repeal a tax on medical devices will amount to nothing, leaving the government on the verge of a potential shutdown.

"We are still at square one," the Nevada Democrat said. "Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate's clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown."

In a Saturday afternoon statement, White House press secretary Jay Carney did what California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa scolded a reporter for doing earlier this afternoon: presume an amended House bill would fail in the Senate.

The president's top spokesman slammed the House Republica caucus as "reckless and irresponsible," adding Republicans have already attempted to defund or delay the healthcare law more than 40 times.

"Republicans decided they would rather make an ideological point by demanding the sabotage of the health care law," Carney said.

A Democratic source indicated that it was unlikely the Senate would change its plans and return to Capitol Hill before Monday. Mimicking Reid, the Democrat told CNN's Dana Bash "there's no point" coming back to Washington so long as, in the veteran senator's words, Republicans are "playing futile political games."

Barring any changes in the Senate's schedule, the body would get the reworked continuing resolution Monday afternoon should the House pass an amended version of the bill. At that point, the Senate could table the House's version of the bill with a simple majority, which would send the measure back to the House.

In his statement, Reid did not signal how or when the Senate will "reject" the House Republicans' continuing resolution.

The same source also said that the Senate leadership feels comfortable it has lined up all Democrats against repealing the medical device tax, including the leading Democratic sponsor of the repeal in the Senate, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray of Washington, taking verbal cues from Reid, threw more cold water on the GOP leadership's plan, accusing House Republicans of "pandering to the Tea Party."

"House Republicans are now actively pushing for a completely unnecessary government shutdown," Murray said in a statement.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, added to the pile-on, both calling for House Speaker John Boehner to pass a "clean" continuing resolution and lambasting House Republicans for "holding millions of innocent people hostage."

"This is just another attempt by the Republican leadership to try and appease the hard right and simultaneously try to wiggle out of the blame for shutting down the government," Schumer said in a statement.

soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. American Worker

    Harry Reid – "Assimilation is inevitable; your resistance is futile."

    September 29, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  2. Biophuku

    Lets not forget this is a manufactored crisis by Obama. He agreed to fiscal responsibility "later" to get the votes to push the ACA through. Since then they have been unwilling to budge on the budget, and have not submitted one since!

    So while you blame all this on the right, just remember its really the left that caused this. No budget passed since Obama got in office (that would have avoided this) and he created this situation, to get the ACA passed. Bad all the way around.

    September 29, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. What's in that tea anyway?

    Wait a minute....You can really tell stupid when somebody criticizes someone else's idea with no alternatives. Just time if Thomas Edison would have stopped because people said "it won't work" but they have nothing but candles. So let's stop letting the stupid lead the charge to get rid of the ACA

    September 29, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Thomas

    This is not about the health care law. This is about Republicans throwing democracy under the bus. What's next? Eliminate social security or they tank the country? Eliminate medicare or tank the country? Eliminate corporate income tax or tank the country? Hey GOP want to get rid of the healthcare law? GET THE VOTES.

    September 29, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Sue

    Reid, Pelosi, Durbin, and the rodeo clown himself--should all go and look at Obama's current approval/disapporval numbers to see what US citizens "really" think of Obama. The dictator's clothes have been removed--and the majority now recognize his incompetence, inexeperience, lies, etc. The Democrats are going to get clobbered in the 2014
    mid-term elections (worse then the 2010 midterm elections). And, if Obamacare is not delayed and shoved down our throats again---with the majority now recognizing that it is a disaster that will destroy our current health care system, put even more people out of work, etc--–this will definitely cost the Democrats the White House in 2016 as well (no matter who they have running).

    September 29, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. ST

    No surrender, no retreat Harry Reid. Pull your trouser even further up and let all these terrorists know you are really serious in what you say and no time to play.

    September 29, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  7. Anonymous

    This is ridiculous! The republicans should NOT be threatning to shut down the government unless they get what they want!

    September 29, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. RSH

    I believe this whole show put on Congress amounts to a message to all Americans that vote: Vote your Congressman/woman out in the next election in which they run. In addition, it is time to call for mandatory term limits in Congress and an end to all lobbyists, it is time to give Americans back their government.

    September 29, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  9. el dono

    Obamacare is a sell out to the healthcare industry. The insurance industry gave its blessing ONLY when the provision was included that EVERYONE had to have insurance by 2014. America, when are we going to wake up?

    September 29, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. cmehler

    rpirrie – you are spot on. What I don't understand is why the Republicans insist on pandering to the tea party and risk their own demise. The teabaggers have already proved that they alone cannot get anyone elected. Why are they letting this small band of (I'll be nice) people run their party?????

    September 29, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. wut!?!

    "House Republicans are now actively pushing for a completely unnecessary government shutdown," Murray said in a statement.

    This is domestic terrorism plain and simple. Their putting our whole nation at risk because of an IDEA thy have and want to shove down everyone elses throats! . . . our future depends on getting those lunatic, whacko GOPTP dregs out of the halls of government. If nobody can see what they're attempting to do and have attempted in the past, then you'll know that the GOPTP are obstructionist anarchists whose agends is to destroy our country and theh people in it.

    September 29, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Sue

    The Republicans' proposal lets all government activities continue–but postpones Obamacare for one year. So, it will be Harry Reid, the rodeo clown, etc that will be shutting down the government. Current/recent polls are showing-even the majority of moderate/sane Democrats, union members, etc-do NOT want Obamacare. Wait until the young people-who helped to put this idiot into office--begin to see what "THEY" are going to have to pay/be fined, once Obamacare goes into effect. And, just wait until the work week of the union workers are reduced to 30 hours or below-so that the Obamacare expense can be avoided. If this is such a great deal--why are the Democratic Senators, Representatives, etc-–demanding that they, their families, their staff members-all be excluded from Obamacare? The Republicans need to pass a Bill in the House that FORCES all of these Democrats to also have to be part of Obamacare. For the 2014 elections--Republicans just need to campaign by saying--"If you vote for this Democrat, it is just like you are voting for Obama himself".

    September 29, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. bill

    The DEMS want a shut down. We need to stand strong GOP and give our kids a chance $17,000,000,000,000 of debt and Obama care will make that number much higher.Stand strong for or kids....

    September 29, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Patrick Henry

    Tea Party anarchists? Thar Reid is a lying would-be tyrant.. It is well within the rights of the House to vote on spending and Reid knows it, and by assigning such false and wicked lables, Harry Reid has made himself the real enemy of all Americans. The House is doing its job. Shame on that wicked and slanderous Harry Reid.

    September 29, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Anonymous

    "Why are they letting this small band of (I'll be nice) people run their party?????"

    As usual, the Republicans are misreading the will of the American people. I blame Reince Preibus. His ego has become so inflated that he really can't see the trees through the forest. It isn't worth upsetting every demographic (women, blacks, hispanics, elderly, middle class, veterans) for a few teaper votes. It never was. Teapers are not people one can reason with; they are too small a minority to make a difference; they turn on their own when not given 100% of what they want; they are not political savvy; they have no idea how government functions; they haven't a clue what they really want; the list goes on and on. Yet for all intent and purpose, they are the people Preibus is hanging his hat on. Only he knows why. And only the Republican party leadership knows why he is considered qualified for the lofty position he holds, much in the same manner only Mitt Romney understood why he allowed and stood by Eric Fehrnstrom as his head advisor.

    September 29, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. Dan

    It would be nice if Harry Reid actually allowed votes on things he didn't support

    September 29, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Hillcrester

    The GOP pees on its own leg with every attempt to repeal, defund, or delay the ACA. None of it will work, but the fixation firms up independent voters' perception that the party is unfit to govern. It has been reduced to an Animal House where most members care only about avoiding a primary fight for re-election to his/her safe GOP seat, and few have any interest in participating in governing. GOP = RIP.

    September 29, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. What's in that tea anyway?

    typo...Wait a minute....You can really tell stupid when somebody criticizes someone else's idea with no alternatives. Just think if Thomas Edison or the Wright Brothers would have stopped because people said "it won't work" ? these are crticisms from people who have nothing but candles or bicycles. So let's stop letting the stupid lead the charge to get rid of the ACA with no alternatives but to vote 41 times. Of course I realize we have some really dense people in this country that think the healthcare system was fine like it was...Thank goodness we didn't get rid of formal education.

    September 29, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. FDR

    People on the left and people on the right are stating the same...if blah, blah, blah doesn't get their way then govt will shut down (it's their fault) and they don't love out country. Either side...the country is broke. We are just under 17 trillion in DEBT. A budget has not been passed during the Obama administration. We have a spending problem. More taxes are not the fix. Roll out of the ACA will thrust the country even more into debt. Cut the dependency programs, shrink govt, delay the start of the ACA. That's for the love of country.

    September 29, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  20. Bill

    Neither will the American people be hijacked by the Democrat anarchists Mr. Reid.

    September 29, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. JRMikla

    "...there is no standoff featuring Congress, just one party in Congress that can't figure out what they're all about, everyone else is totally sorted out and waiting for the intraparty staredown to end."

    Jason Linkins – HP

    September 29, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Crampon

    The GOP just wants the delays done fairly, rather than pick and choose winners like Obama does.

    September 29, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Ken

    Buh'rack care is costing billions, is a job killer, is a economic nightmare, is another gov. handout to the lazy leeches, is a power grab by the liberals. The "irs" running this fools game should frighten all of you...

    September 29, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. T. Storm

    The healthcare bill NEEDS to be sabotaged in the worst way. Defunded & completely dimantled until they can do 2 things. 1. control prices & 2 get rid of the individual mandater. Personally I will not buy something I do not need, do not want & will not use. I do not go to Dr.'s or hospitals for any reason,.. so it is an absolute waste of my money. I will not become a slave to socialism, this administration & the dictator in the White house, whose name is not even worth remembering.

    September 29, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. mike

    I love how Dems say if you don't do exactly what we say, then you are wasting your time. Then they want to make it out to be the GOP's fault. The GOP has it's own issues, but at least they recognize that government is inefficient and does not deserve to expand its role in society. Both parties seem to be blind to the fact that we continue to loose footing to the rest of the world each and every year. How about addressing that (rather than quibbling about the distribution of the pie, how about making the pie larger)?

    BTW, our healthcare system (while not 100% accessible to everyone) is one of the best don't bring up efficiency. Efficiency and quality are different). When people abroad get serious health issues, guess which doctors/hospitals in the world they prefer? Guess where the top doctors in the world want to move? The US attracts more doctors than any country in the world. And it's not just because of the salaries.

    September 29, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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