Federal Relations

September 20, 2013

Defunding Health Reform Tied to CR

Update 9/20: The House voted 230-189 to pass the Continuing Resolution which is coupled with a provision to defund Obamacare. It now heads to the Senate where it will almost certainly fail as-is – and the chamber will restore funding, before heading back to the House. Both chambers must come to a consensus and approve a funding bill before October 1st to avoid a government shutdown.

The House Republicans are setting the stage for a possible gov’t shutdown on September 30th. They have just decided to couple a continuing resolution (CR) through December 15th with language defunding the Affordable Care Act, which will definitely get enough votes to pass the House. They could vote as early as tomorrow but more likely Friday or even Saturday. The strategy is to let the Senate Republicans take on the fight on their side through filibuster. The Senate, however, is unlikely to agree to the House bill so the shenanigans will continue into next week and right up to the end of the federal fiscal year. House leadership sees this as a way to force Senate Democrats and the President to negotiate on a delay in health care reform implementation, debt ceiling hike, tax reform, and possibly approving the Keystone pipeline.