What's Next In The Congressional Budget Showdown? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

What's Next In The Congressional Budget Showdown?

Play associated audio

The House has passed a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government open through Dec. 15. It passed almost entirely along party lines: In addition to funding the government, it calls for defunding of the Affordable Care Act.

The White House has said President Obama would veto the bill, were it to come to his desk in this form. And it most likely won't. Democrats, who control the Senate, won't pass a bill that defunds Obamacare.

Which raises the question, now what?

Friday's vote was designed to project unity. House Republicans went straight from voting to approve the bill to an indoor rally in a neighboring room in the Capitol.

"The American people don't want the government shut down, and they don't want Obamacare," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said at the event, declaring victory with a panorama of House Republicans standing behind him and cheering.

But that joy isn't likely to last. Senate Democrats intend to strip the Obamacare language out of the bill and send it back to the House. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says he'll take a stand and try to stop them — but the numbers, and Senate procedure, aren't on his side.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is convinced Democrats will win this one.

"I have never seen such an extreme group of people adopt such an insane policy," he says. "There's a time and a place for everything, and Americans know they're way overreaching."

In all likelihood, sometime late next week, the House will have to decide between a government shutdown and a stopgap spending bill that funds Obamacare, right along with the rest of government operations. But when asked about this prospect, House Republicans mostly deferred, saying they wouldn't want to speculate about what the Senate might do.

Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., says House Republicans won't let the Senate jam them.

"I want you to interview everybody in this hallway, and I want you to see who believes that what the Senate sends back is what we get stuck with," he says. "I don't know who those people are but they don't sit in the conference meetings I sit in."

There won't be a lot of time for versions of the spending bill to ping-pong back and forth between the House and Senate. Without congressional action, the government will shut down on Oct. 1. Obama laid out the stakes Friday in a speech at a Ford plant in Missouri.

"This is not abstract," he said. "Hundreds of thousands of Americans will not be allowed to go to work. Our men and women in uniform, even those overseas, won't get their paychecks on time. Small businesses, they won't get their loans processed."

The last time this happened was in 1996. And polls show the public doesn't want it to happen again.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Maggie Gyllenhaal Is 'The Honorable Woman': A Series Both Ruthless And Rewarding

The eight-part drama that begins Thursday stars Maggie Gyllenhaal as a British baroness with an Israeli passport. She's a fearless actor in a show full of kidnappings, seductions and betrayals.
NPR

Should We Return The Nutrients In Our Pee Back To The Farm?

A group of environmentalists in Vermont aren't at all squeamish about "pee-cycling." A local hay farmer is using their pee as fertilizer as they run tests to find out how safe it is for growing food.
WAMU 88.5

Rolex Captures Spotlight In McDonnell Corruption Trial

The wristwatch is a key piece of evidence in the case because businessman Jonnie Williams purchased it to buy influence from former Virginia Governor McDonnell.
NPR

Can Pinterest Compete With Google's Search?

Pinterest has created a database of things that matter to humans. And with a programming team that's largely been hired away from Google, the company has begun offering what it calls "guided search."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.