Reid: House votes 'pointless'
September 28th, 2013
04:37 PM ET
9 years 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."

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"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. zach

    If the president caves in to the GOP threats, he will be abandoned by his most ardent supporters.

    September 29, 2013 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  2. Last of the Jedi

    Look out its Darth Reid!

    September 29, 2013 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  3. AndyDaniel

    The Republicans are acting like petulant children. Regardless of your feelings about ACA, you have to realize that it is the law of the land, that you do not have the votes to change it, and ignoring your responsibilities to govern so that you can whine some more about ACA is not the job you are being paid to do.

    September 29, 2013 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  4. 4mirrorlogic

    The real issue is how Congressional districts are drawn up - leading to solid party districts allowing extreme candidate selections. Stop having districts drawn like pre-school art - we must go to square shaped districts aligned to population. This would drive candidates to the middle having to accommodate views from all sides, not just one-sided extremes (be it Democrat or Republican). Become a champion for my Fair and Square Congressional District like that can save us from these extremes.

    September 29, 2013 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  5. 4mirrorlogic

    America must end Congressional District gerrymandering for political advantage - join the Fair and Square District Campaign. Move America to the center by centering square shaped districts on a grid based on population. That alone would mean candidates have to compete for left and right voters, meaning parties will not allow extreme candidates through the primary process like they do today, because they would know the election would not tolerate it. But with gerrymandered districts, even extreme candidates when because it is a one-party lock.

    September 29, 2013 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  6. 4mirrorlogic

    A single idea championed by many can drive change. A million posts for Fair and Square Districts could drive a movement to change how elections have been highjacked...most districts are only contested in the Primary, not the election because of gerrymandered districts. Call for that to change - both Republicans and Democrats can unite on that. It will drive a movement to more moderate candidates willing to meet in the middle.

    September 29, 2013 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  7. 4mirrorlogic

    FAIR and SQUARE Congressional Districts - simple geometric squares driven by populations not some squiggly line drawn simply to ensure political advantage.

    September 29, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  8. 4mirrorlogic

    Battles of extremes - not center - the middle has been drawn away by odd shaped Congressional districts designed to make elections meaningless, and meaning Primaries and the extremes they can produce result in uncompromising rifts so far apart nothing good comes out of it. FAIR and SQUARE Districts for America...simple solutions with a world of impact. Please champion the idea. Thanks – 4mirrorlogic

    September 29, 2013 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  9. 4mirrorlogic

    FAIR and SQUARE districts - end the gerrymandering of red and blue hand drawn lines on the map – change them with basic squares based on population. No more guaranteed political seats to one party, instead force the parties to have to talk to all sides, meaning rationale positions and smart compromise to benefit the whole. End the farce of political districts making elections meaningless.

    September 29, 2013 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  10. anon

    Reid needs to come to the understanding that, as a Senator, his role of representation is only to the State, not the people. Our government has turned into a circus and Senators being in position by popular vote is a disgrace to the way this government was intended to function. House = People, Senate = States, POTUS = All

    I hope for a government shutdown. Best outcome possible is government not functioning in it's current state. It's currently harmful to the country and the people.

    September 29, 2013 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  11. 4mirrorlogic

    Demand a change that would help end the enormous extremes that make politicians unable to even sit down together. Support FAIR and SQUARE congressional districts. No more crazy art drawn maps...simple squares based on population, no more splitting neighborhood streets simply to control the political advantage, instead split them only when the square line is drawn to balance the map based on population. Drive politicians to truly represent more than their handpicked extremes.

    September 29, 2013 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  12. Bubba

    The House votes are not "pointless", they serve to depict the full control an angry minority has over the Republican Party, and they also show the inability of Conservatives to do anything that does not fully favor their ability to hoard money and facilitate shifting their share of the financial burden onto others.

    September 29, 2013 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  13. OHWE

    The senate and house are both worthless! They make themselves look like complete asses on every issue blaming one another! I wish our fore fathers would have had the insite to put term limitations on these fools, they have apparently out lived their usefulness and all need to be kicked out of office!
    When is the last time they actually passed a budget?
    As far as Obamacare is concerned if it so great why did they make themselves exempt from it? You pass it, you need to abide by it plain and simple!

    September 29, 2013 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  14. just me

    Not only pointless, but brainless. Sriously, are there no house repubs with a spine left? Are thy all terrified of being primaried? Just resign, perhaps in a decade or so you can look at yourself in the mirror again. If you don't have the nads to tell the crazies hell no then make way for someone who does.

    September 29, 2013 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  15. Matt

    I guess that's how he felt about the government having to budget too, since he did not pass one for three years!

    September 29, 2013 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  16. Sam

    Everyone knows health care is broken!!!
    Instead of really fixing heath care, AS THESE POLITICANS WERE ELECTED TO DO, the House continues to play around wasting time and money in order to keep the old broken down system loaded with graft and fraud.

    Time is well over due to take this first step in fixing the health care system. We have WAITED LONG ENOUGH.
    I expect the Senate to hold FIRM and not cave in.

    September 29, 2013 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  17. What's in that tea anyway?

    I am beyond laughing at these Tea folks at this point....I thought for sure they would see how utterly futile and ridiculous it is to try repealing healthcare...I mean heck they tried 41 times and it didn't NOW their plan is to destroy everything and spread the misery for everybody(?) really?....this is way past serious now folks.

    September 29, 2013 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  18. Sam

    Frankly, if I have to make a choice between the moniker of being a Tea Party Anarchist or a spendthrift social democrat who does not give a damn about balancing the budget, then I will choose to be the former. Reid is the biggest buffoon in the Senate.

    September 29, 2013 04:06 am at 4:06 am |
  19. Michael Hopkins

    I and my family most of all, NEED health care!!!! They are playing politics with our lives! Just let us have access to health care. Is that to much to ask considering we pay you're salaries?

    September 29, 2013 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  20. GM

    Obama won the Popular Vote and ,in a landslide, the Electoral vote from the American people. They believe and want what he is pushing. Republicans should be happy Americans didn't vote staight party in the last election, but Americans should do so in a year when it's time to vote out these Republicans that are trying to hurt a recovering America.

    September 29, 2013 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  21. @RI_Roger (Follow me on Twitter)

    It sounds like Harry Reid and Patty Murray are pushing for the shut down. If this is so important and pointless based on Mr. Reid, Why doesn't he call the Senate into session this afternoon and take the vote. We can take it from there...who knows, maybe a few Democratic Senators will agree with this compromised House bill. Or does Harry and Patty need more time to "whip" their caucus back under the Tent.

    September 29, 2013 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  22. markskywalker

    Why are there all Democratic quotes and no Republican quotes in this article? Republican quotes might say: A shutdown is not pointless if it will win Senate votes. This amended bill is more representative of the people's majority wishes than the unread act that was rammed down the throat of a partisan Congress 3 years ago.

    September 29, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  23. davecu

    Harry, do you serve the country or do you serve the country?
    Damn time you figured it out.

    September 29, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  24. davecu

    Harry, do you serve the party or do you serve the country?
    Damn time you figured it out.

    September 29, 2013 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  25. Jerry

    And then they (Obama, Senile Reid, Bobble Head Pelosi, What's Her Man Schultz, and other lying/hypocritical Democ-rats want (demand) that Republicans support their dictates. I am not a Republican, but Democrats, particularly América's clueless president, need to reach over and respect elected officials from across the aisle.

    The Clueless One has divided América across party and racial/ideological lines. Didn't he promise América that HE would be the great "uniter"?! Like most of his promises, even that promise turned out to be bogus!

    Oh well...

    September 29, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
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