Sen. Paul wants to reconcile in conference committee
September 29th, 2013
01:28 PM ET
12 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."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Elliot

    The name of the Republican party should be changed from the GOP ( Grand Old Party) to the NDP (National Destructive Party)

    September 29, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. Standground

    Stand the ground against this – ego maniac low life in the white house. Everyone is afraid to stand up to Obama, because he looks nad acts like a thug and a islamo-extremist. Time to step up, and put the President in his place- time to show what the American people are made of- Stand our ground.

    September 29, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  3. alex

    While the aca law is delayed another year, fifty thousand more Americans will die due to lack of healthcare. No thanks, it's the law. Now do your job and fund the government.

    September 29, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  4. smkedbacon

    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 ? What about all those that might possibly have no health care as Obama on his own played with a written law and has delayed implimentaion upon businesses? Why should an American be treated different than business when the Law was supposed to apply to all?

    September 29, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  5. eleanor

    Neither Obama Care or any other issue should be used to hold raising the debt ceiling hostage. If the Democratic Party caves in on this, they too will experience pain in the ballot box. GOP members of the House are such empty suits they are devoid of positive ideas.

    September 29, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  6. butter68

    As a former Republican (44 years) I have vowed to never vote for that party again unless the Tea-bags are a thing of the past. Stay your course Mr. President!

    September 29, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  7. Don, thl Toronto

    I am not surprise by the Republican tactics seen that they only pretend to care about the ordinary folks. It is okay for them to have health care coverage but the people who had none for decades now and as the facts shows millions would benefit now, should wait another year as these Repubs says while their true intention is hoping that they can get control of the senate and the presidency so they can repeal it. Unfortunately for the Republicans and fortunately for the millions who currently have a no coverage, Tuesday October 1, 2013 will be the dawning of a new era for them when the wait will be finally over. They will no longer be subjected to the abuses of the insurance industry. The ACA will be enacted whether the Republicans like it or not. Stand your ground Mr. President. The house has a responsibility to pay for the items it has already approved. They can negotiate on the ACA after. None of us are saying the ACA is perfect but the country should not be held hostage because a group of sore losers still trying to fight what majority of Americans elect the president impart to implement. No delaying of the ACA under the threat of a government shut down and without any strings attach,the debt ceiling must be raise to the necessary level to cover what Congress has already approved. Again, no negotiation Mr. President. 2014 November is only a year away. It will be a major house cleaning for the Republicans and the President will then have two years to implement the legislations that will benefit American of all socioeconomic classes.

    September 29, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  8. Jon @ Winchester, VA

    It is sad to see the American citizen so easily snowed by GOP politicians. They want you to believe that the Healthcare Reform Act is going to cost the American people more for insurance. Total BS. The health insurance markets will open on time Oct. 1st, and the low income and struggling middle class will have affordable healthcare within their reach. Unfortunately the GOP are only interested in protecting their Wall Street buddies behind a wall of lies. Wake up America. The GOP is only looking out for the top 1% of Americans... Romney had that right..

    September 29, 2013 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  9. Les

    Obamacare is the law, there is nothing to compromise. There are things that do not lend themselves to compromise. similarly,if a party in Congress does not want the Supreme Court to review a law, it can't threaten to defund the Supreme Court and then offer to a compromise–if the Supreme Court does not review the law, the Court will be funded. Same goes for laws that have been voted passed and signed.

    September 29, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  10. Abe

    we voted these people to give them jobs to kill our jobs? without their losing anything> WHY DOES SEEMOKAY?

    September 30, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  11. Peter Guild, Quincy, MA.

    Bill Clinton should be quiet and disappear as other former U.S. Presidents do.

    September 30, 2013 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  12. John Jensen

    The debt is not coming down. It continues to increase and anyone that says otherwise is wrong. Perhaps they are talking about the annual deficit which is decreasing, but the total debt is still increasing. Clinton is wrong. We must begin to think about the debt we are leaving our children and grand children. It is the greatest sin that one generation has ever committed against another generation.

    September 30, 2013 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  13. D.Saint

    How are we the people supposed to finance the extra cost of health insurance, when we the people have already cut our expenses to the bone. Why can't the congress" who won't lose a dime if anything shuts down" take care of business. It is a shame that we the people don't run the country. Instead we the people elect self centered advocates that do only their own bidding. Somehow we the people need to take away the the congress pension, "free"healthcare and paycheck and see how fast the compromise will happen.

    September 30, 2013 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  14. Tired

    Oh my God, the Clintons need to just go away already Bill no one cares what you say, you are irrelevent!. Its incredible how many sheeples are on here. Do you realize that the government would not shut down, it can't the Constitution won't allow it (that's right your party ignores the Constitution) morons. That the only people effected are primarily NON ESSENTIAL personnel which is 50% of government jobs. You liberals are so ridiculous in your ideas and beliefs. You have destroyed this country, hope you are proud of it because you are succeeding. We have a President who will negotiate with terrorists but not negotiate with fellow Americans, oh that's right its because Obama isnt American, that makes sense now. You people make me sick. 39 months to go until this piece of garbage is gone, can't wait, can't wait!!!

    September 30, 2013 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  15. Shmrockrancher

    LOVED the Bill Clinton article that lead me here. He starts off saying in no way, form or fashion should Obama negotiate. "Call their bluff". And finishes the article talking all about how government works, how you negotiate to get what you want, etc. Talking out of both sides of his big mouth. When is this guy going away? PLEASE!

    September 30, 2013 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  16. Otika

    The GOP is getting the Clinton's ready for the white house again. Just as they got Obama ready for the white house during George Bushes presidency. When will these kindergartens get it? They refuse to grow up.

    September 30, 2013 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
1 2