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Shutdown looming: Weekend showdown at the Capitol

  • With time running out, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks past the Ohio Clock to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, for the vote on a bill to fund the government, but stripped of the defund "Obamacare" language, as crafted by House Republicans. A band of conservatives, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had wanted to derail the bill, but many Senate Republican lawmakers opposed the conservatives' tactics, including GOP leader McConnell.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    With time running out, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks past the Ohio Clock to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, for the vote on a bill to fund the government, but stripped of the defund "Obamacare" language, as crafted by House Republicans. A band of conservatives, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had wanted to derail the bill, but many Senate Republican lawmakers opposed the conservatives' tactics, including GOP leader McConnell. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • President Barack Obama pauses while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama pauses while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, accompanied by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, right, express their frustration after the Senate passed a bill to fund the government, but stripped it of the defund "Obamacare" language as crafted by House Republicans, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate are at an impasse as Congress continues to struggle over how to prevent a possible shutdown of the federal government when it runs out of money in three days.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, accompanied by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, right, express their frustration after the Senate passed a bill to fund the government, but stripped it of the defund "Obamacare" language as crafted by House Republicans, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate are at an impasse as Congress continues to struggle over how to prevent a possible shutdown of the federal government when it runs out of money in three days. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • President Barack Obama arrives in the James Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, to make a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges. The president said the debt ceiling breach far worse than a government shutdown and would effectively shutter economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    President Barack Obama arrives in the James Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, to make a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges. The president said the debt ceiling breach far worse than a government shutdown and would effectively shutter economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures while speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as Congress continues to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown. The top House Democrat announced that the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as "Obamacare," will go into effect next Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, despite Republican efforts to defund the health care law.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures while speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as Congress continues to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown. The top House Democrat announced that the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as "Obamacare," will go into effect next Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, despite Republican efforts to defund the health care law. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. The president said the debt ceiling breach far worse than a government shutdown and would effectively shutter economy. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. The president said the debt ceiling breach far worse than a government shutdown and would effectively shutter economy. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., foreground, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. , stand next to a countdown clock indicating three days to go before the federal government is due to run out of money, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, after passing a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running, but stripped of the defund "Obamacare" language, as crafted by House Republicans.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., foreground, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. , stand next to a countdown clock indicating three days to go before the federal government is due to run out of money, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, after passing a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running, but stripped of the defund "Obamacare" language, as crafted by House Republicans. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • With time running out, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks past the Ohio Clock to the House chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, for the vote on a bill to fund the government, but stripped of the defund "Obamacare" language, as crafted by House Republicans. A band of conservatives, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, had wanted to derail the bill, but many Senate Republican lawmakers opposed the conservatives' tactics, including GOP leader McConnell.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • President Barack Obama pauses while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, center, accompanied by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, right, express their frustration after the Senate passed a bill to fund the government, but stripped it of the defund "Obamacare" language as crafted by House Republicans, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate are at an impasse as Congress continues to struggle over how to prevent a possible shutdown of the federal government when it runs out of money in three days.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • President Barack Obama arrives in the James Brady Press Briefing room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, to make a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges. The president said the debt ceiling breach far worse than a government shutdown and would effectively shutter economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures while speaking during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as Congress continues to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown. The top House Democrat announced that the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as "Obamacare," will go into effect next Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, despite Republican efforts to defund the health care law.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  • President Barack Obama gestures while making a statement regarding the budget fight in Congress and foreign policy challenges, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. The president said the debt ceiling breach far worse than a government shutdown and would effectively shutter economy. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., foreground, and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. , stand next to a countdown clock indicating three days to go before the federal government is due to run out of money, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, after passing a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running, but stripped of the defund "Obamacare" language, as crafted by House Republicans.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Time running short, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed urgent legislation yesterday to avert a government shutdown early next week, and President Obama lectured House Republicans to stop “appeasing the Tea Party” and quickly follow suit.

Despite the presidential plea – and the urgings of their own leaders – House GOP rebels showed no sign of retreat in their drive to use the threat of a shutdown to uproot the nation’s three-year-old health care law.

“We now move on to the next stage of this battle,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who is a face of the “Defund Obamacare” campaign in the Senate and is in close contact with allies in the House.

First effects of a shutdown could show up as early as Tuesday if Congress fails to approve money to keep the government going by the Monday-midnight start of the new fiscal year.

“Think about who you are hurting” if government services are interrupted, the president said at the White House, as House Speaker John Boehner pondered his next move in a fast-unfolding showdown – not only between Republicans and Democrats but between GOP leaders and conservative insurgents.

New Hampshire’s U.S. senators were split on the vote. Republican Kelly Ayotte opposed the measure, while Democrat Jeanne Shaheen voted in favor of the bill.

Despite Obama’s appeal, the Senate-passed measure faces a swift demise in the House at the hands of Tea Party conservatives adamantly opposed to funding that the measure includes for the three-year-old health care law.

The Senate’s 54-44 vote was strictly along party lines in favor of the bill, which would keep the government operating routinely through Nov. 15.

Yesterday’s Senate vote masked a ferocious struggle for control of the Republican Party, pitting Boehner and Senate Leader Mitch McConnell against rebels led by relatively junior lawmakers, Cruz and Mike Lee of Utah and a few dozen allies in the House among them.

The outcome of that contest – more than differences between the two political parties – is likely to determine whether the government shuts down for the first time since the 1990s.

Cruz told reporters he had had numerous conversations with fellow conservatives in recent days, adding, “I am confident the House of Representatives will continue to stand its ground, continue to listen to the American people and . . . stop this train wreck, this nightmare that is Obamacare.”

The House is scheduled to be in session both today and tomorrow, but it is unclear when it will vote on a new bill to avert a shutdown, and what health care-related items it will include.

Obama spoke more than an hour later at the White House, where he said it was up to House Republicans to follow the Senate’s lead and prevent a shutdown. He said the struggle has nothing to do with budget deficits and said if Republicans “have specific ideas on how to genuinely improve the (health care) law rather than gut it, rather than delay it, rather than repeal it, I am happy to work with them.”

He also said even a shutdown would not prevent the scheduled opening of so-called health care exchanges Tuesday through which millions of Americans will be able to shop for coverage.

Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Boehner, issued a statement in response that said, “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. Grandstanding from the president, who refuses to even be a part of the process, won’t bring Congress any closer to a resolution.”

Republican lawmakers said Boehner had made it clear he would continue to seek health care-related concessions from the White House when the House passes its next shutdown-prevention legislation. But the rank-and-file rebelled Thursday when leaders suggested moving the main focus of the effort to defund Obamacare to a separate bill.

There is little or no disagreement between the House and Senate over spending levels in the legislation now moving from one side of the Capitol to the other, and except for health care, passage might well be routine. The bill provides funds at an annual rate of slightly more than $986 billion, in keeping with an agreement Obama and Republicans made two years ago.

Van, I am practically swooning. As you say anyone who has animals can't be all bad. I am sure this truce won't last but it enough for tonight.

I use cat's name in these posts because my name is in the phone book. When I wrote a letter or two to the paper, I received crank calls and mail using cut out words from the newspaper from anonymous cowards. I am too old for that crap now and nowdays people are more full of hate and anger (anyone sound familiar?) since we have a black President. Sorry Van, I get enough abuse on these pages, I don't want it in my home.

Wow, the same thing happened to me. I am sorry to hear that. Your voice should be. In my case the person made sexual references on a post card. The post card had what looked like someone kissed it with lipstick (I am sure it was some kind of stamp) but very creepy all the same. I am not anonymous. I am a family man whose family has taken a hit from ObamaKare. I am fortunate enough to have a full time job with benefits but my family members only can find low paying, part time jobs with no benefits something very familiar to many many others in the age of ObamaKare. Once again I am sorry to hear how people treated you just because they had a different opinion than yours and that isn't right.

It seems like we all have passion and have the same experiences. Perhaps we are not so different and that tells me that perhaps we can all, from our own perspective open up some valuable dialogue here. That would be a refreshing change in this forum. It is an "opinion" page, many of us are experiencing the same hit Obamacare is having on us, I just wish that progressives would listen and say, "we need to fix it then". Can you at least understand that tillie?

Well, I will take your words at face value. My cat doesn't care what people call her and she doesn't mind me using her name. I find it really hard to understand how your family have taken hits from something that hasn't been implemented yet and doesn't start til Jan 1st. Be that as it may, any thing over (at least it used to be) 30 hrs in NH is considered full-time and for many years long before Obamacare I would be sent home at 291/2 hrs so not to break that threshold. It is not something new. Also as I am sure you know the recession has caused many employers to cut hours. I know nothing I say will ever change your mind but I really don't believe the sky will fall if everyone has a chance to get health care. And you must admit your side has never even tried to solve the problem of the uninsured.

your Facts are incorrect - The Obama Administration set 30 hours as the definition of full time. Facts are available to show you the over 300 companies that have cut jobs and hours because of ObamaKare much less the millions of retirees being let go from retirement plans

My side is for full employment and a competitive market with minimal government interference which means jobs with benefits. The American family income has dropped under Obama including ours. You mentioned race in one of you posts, that has nothing to do with anything a bad president is a bad president and it doesn't matter the race. Obama seems to be a nice guy but a very bad president and now a overwhelming majority of Americans believe that. Thanks for telling me about your cat. There is something to like about a pet person. I have 3 cats and a 50/50 mix golden retriever/yellow lab.

Well the debate about part time and the ACA is really two faceted. The real issue is that the economy has been struggling and will continue to do so. The part time issue is based somewhat on a poor economy where business has not expanded or invested, the stock market is proof of that in regards to where the money is going. The ACA has had an affect based on low hiring stats and the fact that 77% of the jobs created are in fact part time and are in low paying jobs like resturants, fast foods and low paying jobs like retail. That cannot be ignored because it means we are not creating high paying full time jobs. The impact of the ACs is showing up with unions, schools, public workers etc. That also cannot be ignored. Delaying it by a year will do nothing because business will just not hire anybody for a year. Another bad sign is that the Fed is not starting to wind down their infusion of pumping up the economy. The ACA networks also will be a problem with few insurers signing on and the fact that many will wait till they get sick to buy insurance, thus the networks will not have the volume enrolled and prices will go up.

Warning to all readers of this comments section. The usual suspects who who spew propaganda are overtly viscous lately. It looks like the snake oil that they are trying to sell isn't very popular and they are very angry for that unpopularity and are lashing out.

The news bile the left consume daily has quotes from their top commanders and they are rabid foaming at the mouth too - Hairy Reed has said everything under the sun except Republicans are poop heads

What has Obama in a complete quandary is trying to figure how Cruz can talk for 22 hours without a ..... teleprompter

I heard three Republicans today talk about the Obamacare "train wreck" and here it is again from Cruz and Boehner. Hmmm, not an original thought among any of these teabaggers. Just get in the back room and find out your talking points.

Opposition to obamacare was the main reason tea party candidates were elected. If you run on a platform of opposing obamacare and get elected, you probably should do that.

You got it Tillie. It's the same words over and over and over again whether it's this forum, any newspaper anywhere in the country, any TV or radio interview, any Congressional speech. The same rhetoric by the same people. How about something original for a change, like an alternative plan to Obamacare? I haven't heard any solutions, just complaints.

Gen-X if the shoe fits wear it. ObamaKare is a train wreck and democrats know it because they also describe ObamaKare as a train wreck.

Hey Van, where is the Republicans' alternative to Obamacare? O, wait, I know--check in the same place where Republicans keep evidence of voter ID fraud, Obama's Kenyan birth certificate and evidence of Obama trying to repeal the 2nd amendment.

Gen-X the GOP had plenty of alternatives to ObamaKare such as being allowed to buy insurance across state line, health insurance savings accounts but we ended up with the train wreck that kills jobs, cuts hours, causes people to loose their current health care which they like. How about the exemptions that Obama gave to their friends and how Obama changed the law by bypassing congress. Of course those things don't matter to you unless a Republican president did them.

Let's discuss some ideas Gen_X_er. But first remember when we were told that those without insurance used the emergency room and that was so expensive and we paid for it anyway? Well, that was obviously untrue as we are now going to pay more. Here are some ideas that we all should be able to agree upon and health insurance savings accounts is not one of them because people would not save the money, only certain people would. 1) Give a tax break to people who are insured. A $1500 automatic refund if they insure themselves or if they get insurance through their employer. This would entice people to budget better and get insured. 2) Allow people who spend over $1000 on insurance to write off 75% of every dollar spent on their income taxes, reduce their tax liability in many cases below ZERO. 3) People who earn less than $40,000 household income would get an additional $1000 automatic well care refund which would be earmarked to pay for medical bills. This means that they submit up to $1000 in health care receipts and they get reimbursed in their refund check up to $1000. 4) Households between $40,000 to $60,000 would get the same thing up to $750. 5) Allow insurance companies to compete over state lines. 6) Give corporations a 3.5% tax break if they offer health insurance plans to their employees with a $1000 deductible. 7) If the plan offers a $300 deductible increase that to 5%. What we need is an incentive based plan that allows people to save money, employers to invest in their employees and we will wind up with a much healthier workforce and population. Obamacare does none of that.

Tillie, using vulgar terms to describe people that you disagree with how mature. Lets see what terms have the democrats used against Republicans who are fighting for the will of the people because ObamaKare is very unpopular: Lets see: Terrorists, bomb belt wearers, arsonists, anarchists, extortionist.......

Van, I don't like answering you personally because I think you have crossed over the line. Your posts are mainly rants and repetitive. You never have anything new of interest to contribute and when you get so angry you call people by their name instead of the online one, I find that a problem. Discussion is good, but there is no discussion here. You might as well stand on a soapbox and scream all the words you hear from your heroes on Fox. As for the teabaggers, that is what they called themselves before it was pointed out to them what it meant. They even wore teabags on their hats. When the Koch's and Karl Rove and Dick Armey took over their movement, they changed the name to Tea Party, but they will always be tea baggers to me. "Fighting the will of the people"? Wasn't it the will of the people last year that reelected Obama? I really don't want to deal with you anymore, I think there is something wrong with you.

Tillie, I don't use vulgar words to describe people who I disagree with you do so it is you who has issues. I have liberal friends that I debate and we can be civil. Also what nonsense law that states that because we reelected Obama requires us to support bad law. New flash Tillie there is no law. Obama mania clouds your mind.

Tillie, I use my own name unlike you. So you think think there is something wrong with me because I disagree with you. That is sick.

Tillie - democrat leader Rockefeller & Baucus were the architects of ObamaKare and they were the ones the coined the phrase that ObamaKare is a TRAIN WRECK.

GOP rebels, retreat, threat, battle ---Extreme language by the liberal author. He didn't get any accuracy until he published a direct quote: “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. ---This is the correct basis of Republican's actions. Liberals lie and liberals lie liberally.

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