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.
Former President Bill Clinton told ABC News Sunday that President Barack Obama shouldn't allow any changes to Obamacare in exchange for House Republicans raising the debt ceiling.
"There's nothing to negotiate with. He shouldn't delay the health care bill. It's the law and we're opening the enrollment on October 1. We're ready," Clinton said on This Week. "They're in better shape now than the country was to implement President Bush's drug program, which everybody's forgotten. Go back and look at the polls, even more unpopular than health care reform is now."
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said on Fox News Sunday that any government spending bill passed by the House will have "fundamental changes" to the Affordable Care Act.
Pressed by host Chris Wallace about how the House would respond if the Senate rejected the bill passed Saturday night by the House -- which would delay Obamacare for a year and repeal its medical device tax -- McCarthy said the House had "a few other options" about how else to alter the law.
Senate Democratic leadership has pledged to reject the House bill, likely sending a clean spending bill back to the House on Monday with mere hours to go before the federal government shuts down.
"We will pass a bill that will keep the government open, that will reflect the House, that I believe the Senate can accept, that will have fundamental changes to Obamacare," McCarthy said. So the House won't pass a clean spending bill? "There will be additions," he said.
National Review Online reported Saturday that House leadership was considering the so-called Vitter amendment, which would strip Obamacare subsidies for federal officials and their staff, as an 11th hour option for the spending bill.
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 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."