Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Some congressional Republican staff members aren't happy about the vote their bosses will take this evening to eliminate their health insurance subsidies.
"I understand it politically, and as a talking point," one Republican staffer told Mother Jones. "But Congress literally threw staff under the bus on this…You're hurting staff assistants who are sorting your mail."
The House's latest spending bill would delay Obamacare's individual mandate for one year and eliminate subsidies for Congress members and their staff. A vote is expected sometime around 8 p.m. ET.
The House took a procedural step at 7:15 p.m. ET toward its next vote on a spending bill with anti-Obamacare provisions.
The House approved 225-204 the bill's "rule," which allows the House to skip normal procuedures and bring the latest House GOP continuing resolution proposal to the floor for a vote this evening. Six Republicans voted against the rule with Democrats: Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN), Rep. Paul Broun (GA), Rep. Charlie Dent, Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX), Rep. Pete King (NY), Rep. Steve King (IA). After an hour of debate, the House will vote on the bill, roughly 8:15 p.m. ET.
Pete King claimed he was staging a revolt at the rule vote to block conservative House Republicans, but the measure ultimately passed.
The latest bill would delay Obamacare's individual mandate for a year and eliminate subsidies for Congress members and staff.
Rep. Pete King (R-NY) told National Review Online that moderate Republicans would revolt against House leadership's latest ploy to derail Obamacare in exchange for funding the government.
King said he had 25 House Republicans who would oppose the latest plan, which would delay Obamacare's individual mandate for a year and eliminate subsidies for Congress members and staff. If that's true and House Democrats united against the plan, it likely wouldn't have the votes to pass.
“This is going nowhere,” he told NRO. "If Obamacare is as bad as we say it’s going to be, then we should pick up a lot of seats in the next election and we should win the presidency in 2016. This idea of going through the side door to take something you lost through the front door -- to me it’s wrong.”
King acknowledged, though, that the verbal committment of those moderates to oppose the plan wasn't a guarantee that they would actually vote against it when the House votes Monday evening.
“How many of them are going to follow up today with the pressure and everything else, I don’t know,” King said.
Another Moderate Republican, Rep. Charlie Dent (PA), told TPM he intends to vote against a rule that would bring up a new continuing resolution with new anti-Obamacare provisions on Monday evening. He supports passing a "clean" continuing resolution to continue funding the government at current levels.
House leadership could also lose some votes on the right. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) told the Huffington Post that she would oppose the latest plan because it "doesn't go far enough."
Two influential conservative groups split Monday on the House GOP's latest anti-Obamacare provisions tied to a government spending bill.
The House will vote Monday evening on a spending bill that would delay Obamacare's individual mandate for a year and eliminate subsidies for Congress members and staff. Heritage Action said it opposed the bill because it did not go far enough in stopping Obamacare, but would not track how members voted. Club for Growth said it supported the bill and would track votes.
"Much like the rest of Obamacare, the individual mandate and staffer exemption are bad policy, but the proposed changes would not keep the law from taking root. For that reason, Heritage Action opposes the amendment, but will not key vote against it," Heritage Action said in a statement. "In the end, conservatives should stand strong against the intransigence of Harry Reid and Senate Democrats and insist on fully defunding the President’s failed law.”
The Club for Growth notice, which was not accompanied by a detailed statement, is here.
With a government shutdown a few hours away, President Obama outlined Monday afternoon what a government shutdown would look like if Congress fails to pass a spending bill.
"Office buildings will close, paychecks will be delayed, vital services that seniors and veterans, women and children, businesses and our economy depend on will be hamstrung," Obama said at the White House. "Veterans who have sacrificed for their country will find their support centers unstaffed. Tourists will find every one of America's national parks and monuments immediately closed. The communities and small businesses that rely on these national treasures for their livelihoods will be out of customers and out of luck."
Obama reiterated that the federal government is the nation's largest employer with more than two million civilian employees and 1.4 million active military members.
"In the event of a government shutdown, hundreds of thousands of these dedicated public servants who stay on the job will do so without pay," Obama said. "Several hundred thousand more will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay."
"Of course, what will not be furlouged are the bills they have to pay. Their mortgages, tuition payments," Obama continued. These Americans are our neighbors. Their kids go to our school. We worship where we do. They serve their country with pride. They are the customers of every business in this country. And they would be hurt gravely and as a consequence all of us will be hurt gravely should Congress choose to shut the people's government down. A shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people right away."
"Past shutdowns have disrupted the economy significantly. This one would, too," he said.
The federal government would shut down Tuesday if Congress fails to pass a new spending bill.
Rebuffing Republican demands that he concede ground on Obamacare to get a government spending bill passed, President Obama said Monday that funding the government "is not a concession to me."
"One faction of one party in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, does not get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election," Obama said. "Keeping the people's government open is not a concession to me. Keeping vital services running and hundreds of thousands of Americans on the job is not something you give to the other side. It is our basic responsibility."
"You do not get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you are supposed to be doing anyway or just because there is a law there that you do not like," Obama said. "The American people sent us here to govern. They sent us here to make sure that we are doing everything we can to make their lives a little bit after, trade new jobs, to restore economic security, to rebuild the prospects of upward mobility. That is what they expect."
Obama also reiterated that the ACA would continue even if the government shuts down. "The Affordable Care Act is moving forward. That funding is already in place," the president said. "You cannot shut it down."
The federal government would shut down Tuesday if Congress fails to pass a new spending bill.
President Obama chastised congressional Republicans Monday for making "impossible promises" to their base -- namely, stopping Obamacare -- and leading the federal government closer to a shutdown.
"All of this is entirely preventable if the House chooses to do what the Senate is already done, and that is the simple act of funding our government without making extraneous and controversial demands in the process," Obama said at the White House. "The same way other congresses have for more than 200 years."
"Unfortunately right now, House Republicans continue to tie funding of the government to ideological demands like limiting a woman's access to contraception or delaying the Affordable Care Act," Obama said, "all to save face after making some impossible promises to the extreme right wing of their party."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Monday afternoon that it was up to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to get a bill passed to keep the government open -- but he wasn't optimistic.
"Tonight we'll see whether the Speaker is really willing to shut down the government, risking our economic recovery to extract callous political concessions," Reid said on the Senate floor. "I hope he makes the responsible decision. I doubt that he will. But I hope he does."
The Senate rejected the House's anti-Obamacare provisions passed Saturday as part of a spending bill. The House is expected to vote on at least one more spending bill, which will likely include more anti-Obamacare elements, before the end of the day. The federal government will shut down Tuesday if Congress fails to pass a new spending bill.
"Democrats are through negotiating with ourselves," Reid said. "That's what it amounts to. The fate of our country and our economy now rests with John Boehner."
The Senate approved by unanimous consent Monday a bill that would pay U.S. military members in the event of a government shutdown.
The bill, passed Saturday by the House, appropriates money to continue pay for military members even if the government's other spending authority expires. The federal government will shut down Monday at midnight unless Congress passes a new temporary spending bill.
Repeating a popular line on the day before a government shutdown, House Democratic leadership urged House Republicans to accept a clean government spending bill, saying it was already a win for the GOP because it would maintain across-the-board sequestration budget cuts that have been in place since a deal in 2011.
"We are asking them to take yes for an answer," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told reporters Monday afternoon. "This is not a negotiation."
It was a position offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and other Senate Democrats earlier in the day. They dismissed calls from Republicans to give way on Obamacare to get a spending bill passed before the federal government shuts down Tuesday, asserting that they had already compromised by agreeing to keep sequestration
"What we will send back is already a compromise," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) told reporters. "It continues cuts in every part of the budget that frankly we want to fix and replace to be able to restore critical investments, but we are willing to compromise."
The current bill temporarily funds the government at $986.3 billion, the levels set by sequestration, as TPM has reported. The House version sets funding until Dec. 15; the Senate version sets funding until Nov. 15.