This country, man. From the Washington Post, where you can read much, much more on the looming shutdown:
The Senate rejected House amendments to a short-term spending bill Monday, killing a provision that would delay President Obama’s health-care law and moving the U.S. government closer to its first shutdown in nearly two decades.
The Senate vote came shortly after Obama said he was not resigned to a shutdown and plans to continue talking to congressional leaders.
The 54 to 46 party-line vote made good on a vow by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to reject a funding bill approved by the House early Sunday because it would delay Obama’s signature 2010 health-care law for one year and repeal a tax on medical devices.
Immediately after the Senate convened Monday afternoon, Reid moved to table the House amendments. That exercise required a simple majority and was accomplished solely with Democratic votes.
[Click here for live updates on the shutdown crisis.]
Despite the vote, House GOP leaders persisted Monday, advocating another sharp attack against the health-care law that was all but certain to be rejected by Senate Democrats, according to two senior Republican advisers.
House Speaker John A. Boehner’s leadership team is presenting rank-and-file Republicans with an option that would include a one-year delay of the cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act — the so-called individual mandate — while adding a provision that would strip federal subsidies for lawmakers and their staffs, GOP aides said.
Democrats have already rejected this package. If Republican House members agreed to it, it would surely be rejected by Senate Democrats, leaving little time for a deal before the shutdown begins at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, the start of the new fiscal year.
Speaking earlier to reporters in the Oval Office during an appearance with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama said, “I am not at all resigned” to a shutdown despite the looming midnight deadline.
He said he supports a Senate short-term spending bill that would not cut funds for his health-care law or delay its implementation. He said he would talk to congressional leaders later Monday, as well as on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Obama reiterated that he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling, but he said he is “eager” to begin negotiations over a long-term spending plan once the current impasses are resolved.
“But the only way to do that is for everybody to sit down in good faith without threatening to harm women and veterans and children with a government shutdown,” Obama said. “And certainly we can’t have any kind of meaningful negotiations under the cloud of potential default, the first in U.S. history.”
He cautioned lawmakers to avoid the threat of a default, saying that the U.S. dollar is the world’s reserve currency. “We don’t mess with that,” he said. “And we certainly don’t allow domestic policy differences on issues that are unrelated to the budget to endanger not only our economy but the world economy.”
The president emphasized that the simple solution to the standoff is for House Republicans to pass the Senate-approved budget.