Hours away from a government shutdown, the Democratic-controlled Senate once again rejected a House Republican spending plan that seeks to delay the president's health care law.
The party line 54-46 vote continues the back-and-forth between the two chambers with less than three hours before the midnight deadline.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky also repeated his statement blaming Senate Democrats as a partial shutdown appeared inevitable.
From McConnell's office:
“Americans don’t want a government shutdown and they don’t want Obamacare. But Senate Democrats have once again blocked a House-passed bill to keep the government open while protecting Americans from the consequences of Obamacare.
The fact that the President is unilaterally granting waivers to some Americans but not others shows that even he doesn’t think Obamacare is ready for primetime. There is bipartisan support for providing the same treatment to individuals and families that the White House has already given employers.
But tonight, Senate Democrats arrogantly brushed these very real concerns aside and reaffirmed their view that some Americans should be treated differently than others. Americans are also puzzled by the opposition to a provision that would ensure Congress lives by the same rules on the Obamacare exchanges as families across the country. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats have made it perfectly clear that they’d rather shut down the federal government than accept even the most reasonable changes to Obamacare. It’s past time that Democrat leaders listen to the American people and act.”
Known for his last minute deal making in situations such as these, McConnell has been noticeably absent from the forefront of the shutdown debate.
The GOP leader did reportedly float a plan to extend the continuing resolution for a week, but that was rejected by Democrats and conservative Republicans in the House.
Now bill heads back to the House, but it is unlikely Speaker John Boehner will introduce a clean bill that doesn't seek to either dismantle or delay Obamacare.
As far as Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada is concerned, that is a non-starter:
I need to remind everyone that Obamacare is THE LAW and it has been found CONSTITUTIONAL. We are not re-litigating this.— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) October 1, 2013