House Republicans: Senate is running out the clock
September 29th, 2013
05:02 PM ET
5 years ago

House Republicans: Senate is running out the clock

Washington (CNN) – A group of House conservatives gathered Sunday on the Senate side of Capitol Hill to call their Senate colleagues back to work as the government continues to creep toward a government shutdown.

"This is the old football strategy," Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas said at the news conference, holding a football. "When you get to where you want to be in a football game, you run out the clock."

"If they really cared whether this government would shut down or not, they would be here instead of saying they'd be back tomorrow afternoon," he added. "At some late hour, they'll pass something and then they'll say 'Oh my gosh, we've run out of time'."

The Republican-controlled House sent back a short-term spending bill in the wee hours of Sunday morning to the Senate with two anti-Obamacare provisions attached: a one-year delay of the federal health care law and a repeal of the medical device tax.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned on Saturday the Senate would reject any provision in the bill that chips away at Obamacare, and the White House issued a veto threat as well. But the House passed the bill anyway, and if Congress doesn't reach an agreement by midnight Monday, the government goes into a shutdown.

Democrats argue Republicans are to blame for using a reckless strategy to slash the president's signature health care law through a bill meant to fund the government. Republicans argue their plan keeps the government afloat, and as for the Obamacare maneuver, they say they're simply listening to their constituents.

Reid did not call the Senate back to work on Sunday, and the chamber is set to reconvene at 2 p.m. ET, 10 hours before the deadline.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, joked at the news conference that the group of representatives could make a country album. Instead of "O Brother, Where Art Thou," she said it would be "O Senate Where Art Thou?"

One by one, the Republicans continued to bash the Senate for not working on Sunday, when the House worked late the night before.

"Unlock those doors, I say to Harry Reid, and come out," said Rep. Ann Wagner of Missouri.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas lamented that Senate Democrats and the president keep saying "Obamacare is the law, so just forget about it."

Gohmert added that the debt ceiling is also "the law."

"Unless you want that shoved back in your face, then you need to be flexible," he said.

Filed under: Congress • Health care • House • Louie Gohmert • Marsha Blackburn • Senate
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Remember when you point finger, 3 fingers are pointed back at you!

    September 29, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. DocHollywood

    No, the dems aren't 'running out the clock'. If I remember right, they sent a clean CR over to the House. The house added crap that they knew would't be accepted. So, if you want a football analogy, the republicans committed a personal foul and should be ejected from the game.

    September 29, 2013 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. BP

    In all honesty, I can't blame the House for wanting to "listen to their constituents"; that said, I think if Obama had come to the table a month ago and been willing to make a few concessions to House Republicans on ANYTHING, be it spending cuts, delay of Obamacare, etc., Boehner would have jumped at it and whipped his caucus in to shape. The Senate Dem and WH strategy of simply waiting for Republicans to self-destruct, while it may ultimately happen that they do so, is not helping the country any more than tying budget negotiations to Obamacare. Both sides are to blame here, and let's not forget – we haven't had a budget since 2009, when Obama took office, and that includes an all Democratic Congress the first two years.

    September 29, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  4. BP

    We do have checks and balances for a reason – to check the power of any one entity ...

    September 29, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  5. marty

    If I remember correctly, all of the anti-Obama-ites campaigned for office with jobs being a priority. Now we are seeing what we're getting from these legislators who are making six figure salaries. Silly marathon filibusters whose purpose is to gain national attention ... a different kind of 'selfie'. And, we're witnessing a very public coercive move using the citizenry as captive hostages. For a while I thought the Republicans (the party of means which has become the mean party) had no heart, now it seems that they have no brains.

    September 29, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  6. MJ

    God bless the GOP in the House. Obama is trying to choose corporate welfare (i.e. Obamacare) and a Weimar Republic outcome over sensibility and a balanced budget.

    September 29, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  7. Dave - Phx

    When can charges of treason be filed against these groups that hate america (republicans and tea party)?

    September 29, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Dave

    Great, strip out the equipment tax and send it back. What a hoot. That tax is like every other objectionable thing in the Affordable Heath Care Act – stuck in there by the GOP to fatten their friends pocketbooks.

    September 29, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. jdatl

    Democrats shoved this law through without a single republican vote, ignoring 50% of america. When rates go up, services get cut, america will remember dems!

    September 29, 2013 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Nuclear Puppy

    This is a poker game.
    The Dems have 3 aces.
    The Republicans have...........................


    September 29, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. Luckjoe

    This about the largest entitlement program in the history of America & it is going to be yet another Obama screw up. It is not about really fixing what is wrong with our health care system it is a liberal idea of what can America do for you on the back of business and workers.

    September 29, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. Luckjoe

    Obama,Pelosi & Reid get the credit for this train wreck bill and a shut down.

    September 29, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Thomas

    The House did not cut their vacation short in order to work on the funding bill (or any other bill). This is just more stunts and "green eggs & ham" grandstanding.

    Thank you

    September 29, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  14. the hippies were right

    Still not one fact posted from anyone against the ACA. Not one! You idiots just can't do it.

    September 29, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  15. Winston Smith

    The real American people know the cause, and where the blame needs to be assigned. The house of representatives, is totally at fault, and no one can say otherwise.

    September 29, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  16. h20skier

    Where is the hue and cry from the Democrats when Obama postponed for one year the employer mandate? It is the law of the land but Obama just unilaterally decided not to enforce it. The Republicans are only asking for the same thing for individuals that Obama gave unlawfully to companies. Remember, it is the "law of the land" that the employer mandate starts Oct 1, 2013 and not 2014.

    September 29, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  17. Will

    70% of American do not think it is right to shut down the government over Obamacare....that is reality and a fact. While some may think otherwise the writing is on the wall. Look down at the numbers they they are worse. Those under 45 think the GOP is to blame by 70%, under 30 its even more shocking, 80% think it will be the GOP fault. Those are numbers to become obsolete.

    September 29, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. question

    If I were the Democratic leadership, I'd be looking closely to see how many moderate Republicans would be interested in jumping ship. The moderate Republicans are basically disenfranchised right now anyway. Why not jump to the Democrats and at least have some say... in fact probably a lot of power! And they wouldn't have to worry about being "primaried" by tea party types as a Democrat. As part of the deal get an agreement that they wouldn't be challenged by other Democrats in their primaries for at least 1 or 2 elections.

    September 29, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  19. Kenny K


    Too bad that President Obama is so thick headed that he can not see there are many many reasons to repeal obamacare. How can he possibly think that his "signature Legislation" is any good or a credit to him? The democrats will follow Obama blindly and possibly shut down the federal government, for what reason? Do they even know how much damage is being caused by the ACA? Have they even paid attention?
    Please explain the damage.

    September 29, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  20. J. DiLeo

    Could someone in Washington let me know why I want to pay for someone else's health insurance when all I did was work for 38 years and thanks to our friends will probably have no insurance soon but I should look forward to pay extra so someone who probability never worked should get insurance. I look forward to paying extra and thank you for the opportunity to support people who probability never worked and again thank you for the opportunity to work until I die so I can pay my bills . PS that was the way I was raised I pay my bills but so I don' t have to worry about retirement .I worked my whole life so let's hope the 55 million people we will be giving insurance to will be kind enough to try and go out and get a job. Thank you Pres. Obama for the opportunity to work until my last day and not have to worry about retirement. Thanks again!

    September 29, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  21. Kenny K


    Have to wonder why Obama spent so much time the last few weeks in visiting Colleges to recruit students to his Obama Care .. Do you know a child up to 26 can be married, live in another state, employed or not, and qualify under their parents insurance? How many students do you think do NOT fall into this criteria?
    Before Obamacare, the age limit was 24. A child up to 24 year old can be married too.

    September 29, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  22. Adam

    So tired of the GOP trying to destroy this country.

    September 29, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  23. boungiorno

    yes the clock is ticking now concentrate on a logical way to put AMERICA back on the right track

    September 29, 2013 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  24. Dori

    On the contrary, the House is the one pulling one delaying tactic after another. If they'd passed a clean bill to begin with, the Senate would have passed it on to the White House weeks ago. Instead, they insisted on attaching one delaying amendment after another, hoping the bullying tactics would win. When defunding Obamacare didn't work (for the 42nd time), they tried a so-called "conscience clause.". Then there was the idea to delay it for "just a year," the proposal to end the tax on medical devices (which would effectively nullify the program anyway, since it's the payment mechanism for Obamacare), and I'm not sure WHAT else. If the Senate had sent it back to the House 5 minutes after the House passed it, they'd come up with another equally unacceptable amendment.

    For the House to blame this on the Senate is like a 7-year old blaming his mommy or daddy for making him do his homework before he has dinner. "You're MEAN!" "It's your fault I missed my cartoons!" "I hate you!" "It's not my fault the teacher hates me!"

    The House needs to grow up and learn to play nicely with grownups.

    September 29, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  25. Cal

    Obama care is the law of the land. Health exchanges will be open for the public to sign up on October 1,2013. The GOP can continue their temper tantrums all they want but it will not work. The GOP can close the government and it will but it will not affect Obamacare. The American people know it is the Republicans who are at fault. They have tried to repeal Obamacare 40 times but to no avail. Now they want to hold the American people hostage so they can get their own way. GOP have no Health care plan of their own. They would rather destroy the American economy then let the American people have Healthcare. The American people are not as stupid as you think they are GOP. Your days are numbered.

    September 29, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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