In Sunday morning’s early hours, the House of Representatives passed two amendments to the Senate’s continuing resolution that make the first federal government shutdown in 17 years more likely come Tuesday.
The Republican-led House passed two amendments intended to chip away at the Affordable Care Act. One would delay the law by a year, a measure that passed by a 231-192 vote. The other permanently repeals a new tax on medical devices, which passed by a 248-174 vote.
Seventeen Democrats joined all 231 Republicans that voted in passing the medical-tax repeal. Two Democrats broke ranks and voted for a one-year delay, while two Republicans broke ranks and voted against it.
The White House said Saturday that President Barack Obama would veto any bill with the House-passed amendments. And the Democratic-controlled Senate is likely to table both amendments on Monday, sending back the so-called “clean” continuing resolution to the House just hours before the government is set to shut down.
House Republican leadership committed to the strategy in a rare Saturday session, and it earned broad support within the caucus.
“The House has again passed a plan that reflects the American people’s desire to keep government running and stop the president’s health care law,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.
“Now that the House has again acted, it’s up to the Senate to pass this bill without delay to stop a government shutdown. Let’s get this done.”
The House also passed — in a unanimous, 423-0 vote — a measure to pay members of the military in the event of a shutdown.
Earlier Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the House’s votes were “pointless.”
“After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one: Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate’s clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown,” Reid said.
“Senate Democrats have shown that we are willing to debate and vote on a wide range of issues, including efforts to improve the Affordable Care Act. We continue to be willing to debate these issues in a calm and rational atmosphere. But the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists.”
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