Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

GOP Rallies Around CR Changes, but Shutdown Still Seems Likely (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Cole said there were no more than a handful of dissenters in the House GOP to the party’s newest CR plan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 4:18 p.m. | House GOP lawmakers rallied Saturday around a leadership plan to amend a stopgap spending bill with a one-year Obamacare delay and other provisions, even though such an action could lead to at least a short government shutdown next week.

If the measure is amended by House later today, the Senate would have only two days to either approve it or amend it and send it back to the House before funding for the government runs out on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said his chamber will never agree to a continuing resolution that attempts to tear down or delay the 2010 health care law.

The timing of House votes was still unclear, but a Rules Committee meeting to set up the terms for debate was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. With likely hours of debate, votes to amend the CR were not expected to occur until late evening.

Republican members of the House were buoyant after a noon meeting with leadership, even as they admitted there was little to no discussion about what would happen if the Senate sent the bill back, nor what to do in the event of a shutdown.

Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona said everyone in the room was “pretty doggone happy.”

“We are 100 percent unified. Everybody’s on board because we are doing the right thing for the right reasons based on our promises to our districts and nation to stand our principle,” said Rep. John Culberson of Texas.

Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma said there were no more than a handful of dissenters.

Cole said he was not aware of any “plan B,” should the Senate reject the revamped CR. “There’s always a plan, but it’s not necessarily one that I know anything about,” he said.

Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana also acknowledged there was no discussion of what might come next. “We can’t predict what the Senate will do,” Fleming said.

Asked if he believed the House’s action might lead to a shutdown, Rep. Michael C. Burgess of Texas put the onus on Reid.

“No, I think that ball will be firmly in Harry Reid’s court. If he wants to shut it down, that’s his business,” Burgess said.

Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas also said the Senate would be to blame for any shutdown.

“If Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats would stop being so stubborn and recognize that the president has already delayed the mandate on businesses, delayed the anti-fraud protections, delayed the anti-privacy protections and numerous other provisions of Obamacare, and that’s it’s not ready to be implemented, then no, of course the government won’t shut down,” Cotton said.

Cotton is running for Senate against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

Other changes House GOP leaders plan to add to the CR include a repeal of a medical device tax and a change in the expiration date from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15. The House also plans to vote on a separate bill to ensure soldiers would get paid during any shutdown.

In a statement, GOP leaders said:

The American people don’t want a government shut down and they don’t want ObamaCare. That’s why later today, the House will vote on two amendments to the Senate-passed continuing resolution that will keep the government open and stop as much of the president’s health care law as possible.

The first amendment delays the president’s health care law by one year. And the second permanently repeals ObamaCare’s medical device tax that is sending jobs overseas.

Both of these amendments will change the date of the Senate CR to December 15th. We will also vote on a measure that ensures our troops get paid, no matter what.

We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown.

  • betsym

    I just hope Reid doesn’t accept this nonsense. And that’s all it is. The health care LAW needs tweeks but so did medicare and social security. I believe if the house keeps this nonsense going the right wing tea partiers will lose big in 2014

  • Samsara

    REP. TOM COLE / Republican Leadership / (R-OKLAHOMA): “It seems to me there’s appropriate ways to deal with the law, but shutting down the government to get your way over an unrelated piece of legislation is the political equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum, it is just not helpful.”

    er…never mind

  • Samsara

    Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona said everyone in the room was “pretty doggone happy.”


    • F Michael Addams

      The insane grin of madness glanced off their frozen faces..

  • Sarah

    A clear majority of Americans are very pleased to hear this. We are unified on this front and, in 2014, democrats will be answering for their decision to shut-down the government.

    • gacker

      i keep wondering about this clear majority of americans. would that be the clear majority of americans who voted for President Obama

    • F Michael Addams

      Clearly a case of OBS ( obama derangement syndrome )..luckily for teabillies OBS is covered by Obamacare…Sign up Tuesday, Oct. 1st..

  • gacker

    actually, the american people do want obamacare…and in fact last November, we voted for the President. what part of respect the president and the constitution and the law don’t these people understand?

  • mikem42

    The majority of Americans don’t want “Obamacare”, but they do want the Affordable Care Act. So it seems it is all in the name, given to it by the Repugs, and now embraced by President Obama. But when citizens are asked about the individual benefits of the act, they are all in favor of it. The Koch brothers have spent millions to distort the bill and its effects. They did the same back when President Clinton tried to get health care for all Americans. They don’t like the government helping ordinary people in any way; they do want tax relief and deregulation for them and their wealthy cronies. The House passed the bills that need paid, and now they say they won’t pay the tab. Well, that makes them the freeloaders and deadbeats, not the poor folks who need food stamps to survive.

  • Sarah

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