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Dylan Scott

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 dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

A senior Senate Democratic aide told TPM that it is "highly unlikely" that the chamber will return earlier than 2 p.m. Monday, as originally planned, even as the House appears likely to pass a new government spending bill on Saturday.

"There is no change in plans on timing. We will wait and see, but it's highly unlikely we return before Monday," the aide said. "We are not playing games. House Republicans' only way out is to pass the Senate's clean CR or shut down the government."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) reiterated that the new House bill, which would delay Obamacare for a year and repeal its medical device tax, would not be passed by the Senate.

After President Obama reiterated that House Republicans should pass a spending bill and give up their effort to stop Obamacare, House Speaker John Boehner's office chastised the president for "grandstanding."

“The House will take action that reflects the fundamental fact that Americans don’t want a government shutdown and they don’t want the train wreck that is Obamacare," Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement. "Grandstanding from the president, who refuses to even be a part of the process, won’t bring Congress any closer to a resolution.”

Boehner's press office also noted, after Obama also announced he had held a historic phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, that the president had not called Boehner this week.

Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA) will introduce an amendment that delays Obamacare for one year to the government spending bill coming back to the House, his office confirmed to TPM.

The plan was first reported by Chris Moody of Yahoo! News. Graves introduced the original House spending bill.

It could be the next volley as the bill bounces between the House and Senate. The Senate stripped the defund Obamacare language that the House had included and then approved the rest of the bill Friday.

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) preemptively shot down any new Obamacare proposals that the House might add to the spending bill.

"They need to accept what we just passed," Reid told reporters. "Let's be absolutely clear: We are going to accept nothing that relates to Obamacare. There's a time and place for everything, and this is not that time or place."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told congressional Republicans Friday to give up their campaign to stop Obamacare and pass a government spending bill that funds the law.

"They need to accept what we just passed," Reid told reporters after the Senate stripped defund Obamacare language from the spending bill and then approved the bill in final passage. "Let's be absolutely clear: We are going to accept nothing that relates to Obamacare. There's a time and place for everything, and this is not that time or place."

"Obamacare has been the law for four years," Reid added. "Why don't they get a life and talk about something else?"

The Senate voted Friday to remove defund Obamacare language from the House-passed government spending bill.

The amendment passed 54-44 on a party-line vote. The Senate will vote next on the bill's final passage.

The Senate has cleared another procedural hurdle toward passing a government spending bill.

The Senate voted 68-30 to waive budget points of order. The chamber will vote next on an amendment that would remove the defund Obamacare language from the House-passed bill.

The Senate voted Friday to close debate on the House-passed government spending bill, the chamber's first step toward passing a bill.

The measure passed 79-19. Nineteen Republians voted against it.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had urged his colleagues to vote "no" in an effort to force Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-NV) to defund Obamacare.

More votes, including on an amendment to strip the bill of its defund language, will follow shortly.

 

The Obama administration has approved Arkansas' first-of-its-kind Medicaid expansion plan under Obamacare, a big development for the health reform law's implementation because it opens the option for other states to expand health coverage without expanding Medicaid.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced the decision Friday.

"Arkansas and CMS worked together to find flexibilities that gave the state the tools to build a program that worked for them and their residents," CMS spokeswoman Emma Sandoe said in a statement. "We appreciate the collaboration with Arkansas throughout the process and applaud their commitment to providing Arkansans with access to high, quality health coverage."

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sought Friday to lay the blame for a possible government shutdown on congressional Republicans, saying that they refused to negotiate on the issue.

Pelosi pointed to the GOP's inability to reconcile their competing factions as the reason that the federal government is a few days away from shutting down.

"It's impossible for Democrats to negotiate with House Republicans when they can't negotiate with themselves," Pelosi told reporters. "We don't know what we're going to vote on from one minute to the next because I don't think they know what they're going to vote on."

"I don't know that they even know what they're doing," she added.

President Obama came out swinging in a Thursday speech on the Affordable Care Act, taking the law's opponents to task for spreading misinformation and overstating problems with its implementation.

"I wanted to take a little bit of time today to speak with you, the people who send us to serve, about something that is critical to our families, critical to our businesses, critical to our economy, and that is the reforms that we are making to our health care system," Obama told the crowd at Prince George's Community College in Maryland. "There's been a lot of things said, a lot of misinformation, a lot of confusion. But there are few things more fundamental to the economic security of the middle class and everybody who is trying to get into the middle class than health care."

It was the final pitch, if you will, five days before the law's health insurance marketplaces open. It came as congressional Republican opposition to Obamacare is reaching a crescendo, with GOP leadership trying to hold the law ransom in budget and debt-ceiling negotiations unless the White House agrees to delay or defund it. It came amid numerous reports -- including another one right after Obama spoke -- about glitches or delays in the law's rollout.

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