Obama Rejects ‘Ransom’; No Deal Near

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from The New York Times,

House Republican leaders pushed forward a new plan to tie further government spending to a one-year delay in a requirement that individuals buy health insurance, after the Senate took less than 25 minutes to convene and dispose of a weekend budget proposal by the House Republicans.

The rapid back-and-forth came with the federal government essentially running out of money at midnight if no agreement is reached. The Republicans were planning a vote later Monday on the new plan, which also includes a denial of government subsidies to lawmakers and their staff members buying health insurance.

President Obama spoke in the White House briefing room on Monday evening, and castigated House Republicans for failing to perform one of the most basic functions by not providing money for the government. He said a shutdown would harm the economic recovery.

“The idea of putting the American people’s hard-earned progress at risk is the height of irresponsibility and doesn’t have to happen,” Mr. Obama said. “Let me repeat that: It does not have to happen. All of this is entirely preventable.”

He added, “One faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to re-fight the results of an election.”

Earlier Monday, the Senate, along party lines, voted 54-46 to kill the House plan just over 20 minutes after coming back into session from a weekend break. Senators then sent the House a bill to finance the government through Nov. 15 without policy prescriptions.

But House leaders would have none of it, again demanding a significant hit to the health law as a price for keeping the government open. At 12:01 a.m., much of the government is set to close, furloughing 800,000 workers and withholding paychecks for millions of others who will be expected to work without compensation.

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