WASHINGTON — Compromise elusive, Republicans and Democrats engaged in finger-pointing Monday just hours before the first government shutdown in 17 years, driven by an intractable budget dispute over President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.
“This law is not ready for prime time,” said Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who insisted that the Democratic-controlled Senate act quickly and accept a House measure that would avert a shutdown — but only by delaying further implementation of the health care law for a year.
“Where, oh where, has the Senate gone?” asked Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.
House Democrats soundly rejected the GOP alternative and pleaded for an end to the fighting. Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif., implored Boehner to be “the leader of this body” — Democrats and Republicans.
The Senate returns shortly after 2 p.m. EDT — just 10 hours before a threatened shutdown — and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his Democrats have made it clear that they want a straightforward bill to keep the government operating and won’t accept any GOP-crafted legislation that delays or unravels the 3-year-old health care law. Full story.
How likely do you think it is that the government will shut down and how concerned about it are you?