House Vote Extends Budget Standoff

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from The Wall Street Journal,

The House on Monday night passed the latest Republican plan to delay part of the new federal health law and keep the government operating, extending the partisan standoff over health policy and federal spending with only hours remaining before a partial government shutdown.The 228-201 vote in the House ensures another round of late-night volleys between the GOP-led House and the Democratic-controlled Senate. The short-term spending bill now heads back to the Senate, where Democrats are expected to strip within an hour the GOP-backed provisions and fling a stripped-down spending bill back to the House.

The bill passed by the House would keep the government funded for the first few weeks of the fiscal year, which begins Tuesday, and delays for one year the implementation of the federal health law’s individual mandate. The GOP bill would also would limit government subsidies for lawmakers’ own health-care premiums and those of their staffs.

The plan drew criticism from some GOP lawmakers after it was unveiled in a closed-door meeting Monday afternoon, but Republicans held their ranks as the budget fight dragged into the night.

Senior lawmakers from both parties took to the House floor before the vote to deflect blame ahead of the rapidly approaching midnight deadline.

“The American people don’t want a shutdown and neither do I,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) in a fiery speech on the floor. House Republicans are fighting to shield Americans from the “unknown consequences and unknown damages” of the health-care law, he said.

But House Democrats said the public had already given the health-care law a vote of confidence in last November’s election.

“You made the argument to the American people and they rejected that argument and re-elected President Obama. You have not gotten over that,” said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D., Md.)

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