The House, under the shadow of a looming government shutdown, voted early Sunday to link further financing of the federal government to a one-year delay of President Obama’s health care law and a repeal of a tax that helps finance the law – all but ensuring large swaths of the government will close on Tuesday.
Acknowledging that likelihood, the House unanimously approved a separate bill to ensure that unformed military personnel would continue to be paid during that shutdown.
In rapid-fire succession, just after midnight, the House voted 248-174 to repeal a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices, then 231-192 to try to force a delay in the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, just days before the uninsured begin enrolling in the law’s health insurance exchanges on Oct. 1. Finally, the chamber voted overwhelmingly to continue the flow of funds to service members.
Well before the votes, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, announced that the Senate would not accept the House’s latest gambit. Instead, he will move to strip the health care language from the stopgap government spending bill and send it back to the House on Monday afternoon, just hours before the government is set to shut down at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
There is little indication that Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio will be any more prepared to approve a spending bill shorn of Republican policy prescriptions than he was on Saturday.
(From Jonathan Weisman with the New York Times)