US House pushes through spending Bill

Stopgap Bill set to strip all funding from President Obama’s health care law

President Barack Obama speaks to workers at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant after the Republican controlled U.S. House passed a stop gap funding measure, but also defunding the presidents health care legislation, which may lead to a government shut down. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama speaks to workers at the Ford Kansas City Stamping Plant after the Republican controlled U.S. House passed a stop gap funding measure, but also defunding the presidents health care legislation, which may lead to a government shut down. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Sat, Sep 21, 2013, 01:00

House Republicans pushed through a stopgap spending Bill yesterday that would strip all funding for President Barack Obama’s health care law, setting up another bitter fiscal showdown just 10 days before much of the federal government is set to run out of money.

The 230-189 vote set in motion a fiscal confrontation whose outcome is anything but clear. Two Democrats voted for the measure, and one Republican voted against it. With no resolution, large swathes of the government could shut down October 1st, and the nation’s first default on federal debt could follow weeks later.

“We had a victory today for the American people, and frankly, we also had a victory for common sense,” House Speaker John A Boehner said after the vote. “Our message to the United States Senate is real simple: The American people don’t want the government shutdown and they don’t want Obamacare.”

Even as the House muscled through its spending Bill, House Republican leaders met behind closed doors with their rank and file to lay out the next step in the budget battle: a Bill that would raise the government’s statutory borrowing limit, delay implementation of the health care law for a year, and push a grab-bag of Republican initiatives such as binding instructions to overhaul the tax code and mandatory construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

All of the measures tied to the debt-ceiling increase have passed the Republican-controlled House before, only to be ignored by the Senate. The two Bills – to finance the government through December 15th and raise the debt ceiling – were intended to unite House Republicans and placate an emboldened right wing of the party.

“We’ve said from the beginning that this law will harm our economy, and we’re seeing our economy turn from a full-time job economy to a part-time job economy,” Representative Eric Cantor, the majority leader, said after the vote.

“That’s why we are doing our job, and now it is up to Senate Democrats to show some responsibility and follow the House’s lead.”

But the gambit also sets Congress down a path with no definitive end, with stakes that rise by the day. Absent a deal between the House, Senate and White House, much of the government would shut down on October 1st. And by mid-October, the federal government would face its first debt default, an outcome that would roil the international economy and deal a blow to a domestic economy just getting to its feet. – (New York Times)