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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) didn't say much after his chamber voted to go to conference with the Senate over the temporary government spending bill -- a move that shut the government down Tuesday.
"The House has made its position known very clearly. We believe we should fund government, and we think there ought to basic fairness for all Americans under Obamacare," Boehner said. "The Senate has continued to reject our offers, but under the Constitution, there's a way to resolve this problem and that is to go to conference and talk through your differences. I would hope that the Senate would accept our offer to go to conference and discuss this so that we can resolve this for the American people."
He took two questions. Asked if the House would vote on a government spending bill without changes to Obamacare, Boehner was evasive.
"We are hoping that the Senate will take our offer to go to conference and let us resolve our differences," Boehner said.
Asked what he would say to federal employees who would be affected by the shutdown, he ignored the question.
"The House has voted to keep the government open, but we also want basic fairness under Obamacare," Boehner said.
At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Monday, Kathleen Sebelius compared the launch of Obamacare to the launch of an Apple product: highly public and eagerly anticipated but with inevitable glitches that can be ironed out without spoiling the whole show.
"About 10 days go, I got the prompt that the operating system had changed and did I want to upgrade to the new operating system and so I did it," Sebelius said. "Then about five days after that, I got the second prompt saying there's a little problem with the system and now we have a new, new upgrade and why don't you upgrade your upgrade."
"And I thought, okay, this is Apple. It has a few more resources than we have to roll out technology. No one is calling on Apple to not sell devices or to get out of the business because the whole thing is a failure. It was just a reminder that we're likely to have some glitches. We will fix them and move on. Hopefully people will give us the same slack that they give Apple."
Here's where things stand as of Tuesday when Obamacare goes live for the first time-- and what the administration expects on the law's first day.
At 11:46 p.m. ET, the Obama administration ordered executive departments "to execute their plans for an orderly shutdown of the federal government."
The full memo from the Office of Management and Budget is below.
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
FROM: Sylvia M. Burwell
SUBJECT: Update on Status of Operations
This memorandum follows the September 17, 2013, Memorandum M-13-22, and provides an update on the potential lapse of appropriations.
Appropriations provided under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 (P.L. 113-6) expire at 11:59 pm tonight. Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the President to sign a Continuing Resolution before the end of the day tomorrow, October 1, 2013. Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations. We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations.
Agencies should continue to closely monitor developments, and OMB will provide further guidance as appropriate. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and the work you and your agencies do on behalf of the American people.
Reacting to House GOP leadership's plan to go to conference with the Senate to negotiate the temporary government spending bill, Heritage Action president Michael Needham tweeted that it was a "stupid idea."
Congress thinking of moving negotiations off of cspan and into back room conference cmte? Stupid idea. #MakeDCListen
The House Rules Commitee will meet at 10:30 p.m. ET Monday to consider a rule that would allow House GOP leadership to request a conference to negotiate with Senate Democrats on the temporary government spending bill, a House Rules Committee aide told TPM.
House leadership makes the move with less than two hours until a government shutdown and an hour after the Senate rejected the House's latest anti-Obamacare provisions tied to the spending bill.
"It means we’re the reasonable, responsible actors trying to keep the process alive as the clock ticks past midnight, despite Washington Democrats refusal – thus far - to negotiate," a House GOP leadership aide told TPM.
UPDATE 10:53 p.m. ET:
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's office issued the following whip alert announcing a late-night vote on the above plan:
The House will follow regular order and consider a rule that adopts a motion insisting on our last amendment and requesting a conference with the Senate. This will send the CR, our amendment, and our request for a conference back to the Senate.
UPDATE 11:27 p.m. ET:
The House Rules Committee passed a resolution to to go to conference committee with the Senate.
The Senate will reject the new anti-Obamacare provisions that House Republicans aim to attach to the government spending bill and return it to the House before midnight, a senior Senate Democratic aide told TPM's Sahil Kapur.
If the House passes this CR the Senate will vote to table it before midnight and send it right back, per sr Dem aide.
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.