Sen. Paul wants to reconcile in conference committee
September 29th, 2013
01:28 PM ET
7 months ago

Sen. Paul wants to reconcile in conference committee

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday proposed an alternative way to avert a government shutdown, saying the two chambers of Congress should go to conference on the short-term spending bill at the center of the current stalemate.

"Why don't we have a conference committee on this? You could appoint one today. They could meet tomorrow and hash out the differences. That's the way it's supposed to work," he said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

Conference committees are a common process Congress uses when both houses pass competing bills and they need to reconcile the differences.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said on CNN's "State of the Union" they "could absolutely" have a conference committee over an appropriations bill, but "we don't have conference committees over the CR." She was referring to continuing resolutions, another name for spending bills that fund the government for a short period of time until a full fiscal year budget can be passed.

And Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin argued Democrats have been trying "for more than six months to get the Senate Republicans to agree to a conference committee" on a full budget - but to no avail.

After a midnight vote, the House sent back to the Senate a bill on Sunday with two anti-Obamacare provisions: a yearlong delay to the federal health care law, and a repeal of its medical device tax.

Durbin said he's open to talking with Republicans about making changes to the health care law, but not at the risk of a government shutdown. "I'm willing to look at that, but not with a gun to my head," he said on "Face the Nation."

Asked if he expects a shutdown to happen, he said, "I'm afraid I do."

"I predict the Senate is going to reject this House overture that was sent to us last night," he added.

Meanwhile, Paul said he is also against a shutdown but doesn't think the president should get everything he wants on Obamacare. He supported the House version that came back to the Senate, because he said the chamber compromised and asked for a delay to the law, rather than proposing to defund it, as it did in the bill earlier this week.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already pledged to reject the bill, and the president has issued a veto threat.

"We are the party that's willing to compromise," Paul said. "They're the party that says, 'No way, we're not touching Obamacare.'"

Other conservative Republicans also seemed supportive of the House's decision to ease the pedal and try to delay, not defund, the health care law.

Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz both said Sunday they also approved of the House tactic, insisting it's the Democrats' turn to compromise.

"What the House of Representatives has done is a step removed from defunding. It's delaying it. Now that's the essence of a compromise," Cruz said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "For all of us who want to see it repealed, simply delaying it for American families on the same terms as is being done for big corporations, that's a compromise."

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soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    That would be the intelligent thing to do. Unfortunately, the Tea Party loving Congress won't do what is best for our country.

    September 29, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    Your party wants to compromise? Forget compromise now! We need to go in and kick some but* in congress.
    Your party has done absolutely nothing but put bumps in the road and obstruct and blackmail our government. What the FBI doesn't put you all in jail I font understand. You are no better than the Americans you want to destroy!
    Your teatard party and the yellow bellied rethugs are responsible for this mess.
    Now the teatards are running like the cowards they are. I hope somebody catches up to you!

    September 29, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Rand Paul. Another who will never become President of the United States pretending otherwise.
    Riding daddy's coattails - while OK as a Senator from Kentucky - isn't going to wash as a potential
    presidential candidate. Especially a candidate who caters to the likes of the birchers and the government
    is evil crowd. These are the folks who should never, ever be allowed to get too close to the White House
    for any reason.

    September 29, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    "And Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin argued Democrats have been trying "for more than six months to get the Senate Republicans to agree to a conference committee" on a full budget – but to no avail."

    In part because of the hot air spouted by Rant and his tea trolls cohorts. But if the conference committee does meet, Rant will try to claim it was he who brings the two sides together and say only he can bring the two sides together, slamming President Obama in the process – once again playing politics to satisfy his own presidential ambitions.

    His dumb base may fall for this, but the rest of us are on to what a manipulative, dishonest jerk he is.

    September 29, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    "We are the party that's willing to compromise," Paul said. "They're the party that says, 'No way, we're not touching Obamacare.'" [Rant Paul]

    No, your idea of compromise is everyone to agreeing with everything you want. A majority of Americans elected President Obama TWICE, in part because of Obamacare.

    What is it about the will of the American people you don't get, Rant?

    September 29, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. ola

    no compromise. let the devil's party rot in hell. No no compromise on obamacare. No delays. God will destroy these evil men called tea party. They are a Godless bunch

    September 29, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Obama wants to play his transparent "veto card". In its inception, Obama did not care if the Affordable Healthcare Act was passed or not. Of course, as the song goes, "Smiling faces, all the time they want to take your place...they're backstabbers".

    September 29, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. James Fugedy

    The republicans would delay the ACA forever, one year at a time.

    September 29, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. jinx9to88

    Repubs just want to delay the law another year so the can fight it another 365 days. No deal!!!

    September 29, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. James

    Senator Paul is not a kentuckyian and i will never vote for him or Ted Cruz even for dog catcher!!!

    September 29, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. MMCinMPLS

    My belief is the Republican CR that includes a delay to ACA, has nothing to do with ACA, and everything to do with the 2014 election, and their misplaced hope that they will gain more seats in the Senate, then attempt to repeal the law.
    To this day, it has never been clear to me the objection to the law, and I have yet to hear any constructive changes to whatever they object to. Just more posturing, lying and hypocrisy.

    September 29, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. boungiorno

    she said he said now really put a plan in motion that will give the american citizens the health care coverage their paying for not what YOU the HOUSE deem necessary.&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

    September 29, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Larry in NY

    These guys talk as if delaying it by 1 year is no problem. What about some people who could take advantage of the Obamcare? What about them? aren't they losing on this ?

    September 29, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. rs

    Mr. Paul- there is nothing to reconcile: The ACA is settled law, and you guys need to fund the government. Do it.

    September 29, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Lib

    Can't understand, these are the folks calling to impeach the president but yet they are asking to negotiate on a bill which was passed by the Supreme Court. Are they that full of hate and fear of this president. Fear that he will have a legacy of helping Americans get health coverage when no repub would? Folks are already using the ACA. Many starting their own companies now they have insurance coverage. Seems to me most Americans are pretty happy with the ACA.

    September 29, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. jim infl

    2014 all this mess will be gone. No more Tea Party. thank god

    September 29, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. DB

    Fund the government you worthless Teabaggers. Can't wait to VOTE your sorry asses out in 2014.

    September 29, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  18. Name beck led

    Paul "doesn't think the president should get everything he wants". The President didn't get everything he wanted when the " Afforadable Care Act" , now referred to as "Obamacare" was passed. Nor did anyone!!! It was a compromise bill then. Is that how every bill is to be from now on? Once comprised and passed, it continues to be debated and challenged from then on? Geez, move on. We'll never get anywhere. Oh, that's where we are now!

    September 29, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. KG

    It is way, way past time the government stops living beyond it's means. For those Democrats who say "fix the economy and the debt goes away", I suggest you go back to school. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but just paying the interest on our national debt is the single largest portion of the budget.
    At some point we have to say enough is enough. Both parties have gotten us into this mess and I'm more than happy to see Tea Party representatives doing what the people who voted them into office asked them to do. Namely, fight Obamacare and fight deficit spending. I'm just waiting for the Tea Party to ditch the Republican party all together and form their own platform.

    September 29, 2013 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Jack

    Aren't you a little late to the party? You have been the ban mouthing everyone for months!

    September 29, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. Evergreen

    GOP refused to have any imput or negotiate before the ACA became law. It is silly to now want to compromise. It is now the law and you have no one to blame but yourselves for not negotiating prior to enactment.

    September 29, 2013 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  22. Michael Hobart

    If the GOP gets a delay this time, they will seek a delay the next time, ad infinitum. Meanwhile the people having trouble getting insurance will still be having trouble with no solution in sight. Certainly there would not be any solutions from the GOP, we are still awaiting their "better alternative" solution. Remember that the concepts of the Affordable Care Act began with the conservative American Enterprise Institute in the early 1990s, which begat Romneycare, which begat the Affordable Care Act.

    September 29, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  23. DJ

    Fund the government. Quit playing games. We do not need more people not getting paychecks, not buying goods and services. So many jobs went away and haven't come back. We're tired of all the opportunities being in the retail and service sector. Quit playing political games and get to work on fixing what's really broken – a system that relentlessly outsources American jobs.

    September 29, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Rand Paul , it's all about the 2014 elections .

    September 29, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. S. B. Stein

    I'd like to know what the changes the GOP or Paul would make to this law. We haven't heard any of this now.

    September 29, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
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