House Republican: Senate is ‘playing games’
WASHINGTON (CNN) — A high-ranking House Republican blasted Majority Leader Harry Reid for not calling the Senate back to Capitol Hill on Sunday as the government teeters on the edge of a possible shutdown.
The Republican-controlled House tossed another bill back to the Senate around midnight to avert a shutdown but chisel away at Obamacare. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state said Sunday the country’s fate now rests in the Senate’s hands.
“We were there almost till midnight last night, working on the bill, passing the bill, got even some Democrat support in the House, and yet the Senate won’t even come back today,” McMorris Rodgers, chair of the House GOP conference, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“They’re the ones playing games,” she continued. “They need to act. They’re the ones that are truly threatening a government shutdown by not being here and acting.”
It’s a line Republicans have used all week as they’ve tried to derail the president’s signature health care law through a spending bill that must pass by the end of Monday, the last day of the fiscal year. Fueled by conservative members in the House, Republicans argue they’re passing legislation that keeps the government afloat and that it’s the Democrats who are refusing to act.
Pointing the finger back, Democrats say they’re not budging because Republicans are attaching legislation against Obamacare that has no chance of going anywhere in the Senate or being signed by President Barack Obama. On Saturday, Republicans added two amendments that would delay Obamacare for a year and repeal its tax on medical devices.
Reid made it abundantly clear Saturday that the revised bill would go nowhere in the upper chamber, declaring that “the American people will not be extorted by tea party anarchists.”
In addition, Obama has already issued a veto threat.
Pressed Sunday by CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on whether Republicans are prepared to accept blame for a government shutdown, McMorris Rodgers continued to argue the Senate will ultimately be held responsible.
She said the “American people are panicked” and the “wheels are falling off” in the Obamacare rollout, which begins Tuesday, when people can start to enroll for health insurance through the exchanges. She pointed to instances when the Obama administration has had to delay certain provisions of the law, including the employer mandate for large businesses and the small-business online enrollment.
“The Senate needs to act. They should act quickly. They should be in today. This is unacceptable that Sen. Harry Reid said ‘We’re not even going to come back today,'” she said.
CNN’s Jason Seher contributed to this report.
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