Blog Posts by Chris Moody, Yahoo News

  • Republicans want to fund parts of the government, but that wouldn't end the shutdown

    House Republicans are planning no new proposals on the first day of a shutdown to fully fund the government, but they will introduce three small bills that would continue funding for veteran benefits, national parks and museums, plus another measure that would allow the District of Columbia to continue operating using its own revenue.

    Although the move wouldn't end the budget impasse, the measures would ease some of the pain while lawmakers continue to try to find a path out of the standoff, and House leaders were preparing for votes Tuesday evening.

    Senate Democrats, however, rejected the new offer outright. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday afternoon insisted, as he has throughout the entire process, that the Senate would accept nothing short of a bill that funds all government operations.

    "The government is shut down," Reid said on the Senate floor. "And if they think they're going to nit-pick us on this, it won't work."

    Earlier Tuesday, the morning of the first federal

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  • GOP Rep. Peter King: ‘Ted Cruz should be blamed’ if government shuts down

    House Republicans had just finished another private strategy meeting about how to respond after Senate Democrats rejected their latest proposal to fund the government and delay Obamacare, and New York Republican Rep. Peter King was huffing.

    King told reporters nearby he would not support his party’s fresh plan to fund the government, which included an amendment to delay the mandate to buy health insurance in the Affordable Care Act. King initially supported the effort to defund the president's health care law, but with the deadline looming at midnight Monday for a government shutdown, enough was enough.

    “I’m voting against it, that’s all,” King said, adding there were as many as 25 other House Republicans who agreed with him privately. But he couldn’t say if they would join him in publicly voting to buck House Republican leadership.

    King added that if the government did shut down, one man would be responsible. “Ted Cruz should be blamed,” King said. “And anybody that follows him.”

    This

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  • Despite shutdown threat, House passes spending bill that delays Obamacare for one year

    The House approved a spending bill early Sunday morning that would fund the government through Dec. 15, but tacked on amendments that would delay the federal health care law known as Obamacare for one year and repeal the medical device tax, a move that sets up a showdown with Senate Democrats and increases the probability of a government shutdown Tuesday.

    The Obamacare delay amendment passed 231-192, and the vote on the medical device tax, which would help cover the costs of Obamacare, was 248-174. The House also unanimously passed a bill to fund the military in the event of a shutdown.

    Congress must agree to a federal spending bill by Tuesday, or the federal government will partially close down until members can find a compromise solution. The Republican-led House and the Democrat-controlled Senate disagree over whether the bill should include the health care law. Last week, the House sent a spending bill to the Senate without Obamacare funding , and the Senate responded by

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  • 25 Republican senators reject Cruz strategy to defund Obamacare

    In the weeks before Friday’s Senate vote on a government-funding bill, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz called on fellow Republicans to refuse to keep the government running unless funding was stripped from the federal health care law known as Obamacare. In the end, 25 Republican senators rejected him, a move that allowed Senate Democrats to move the bill forward.

    According to Cruz’s proposed strategy, which he promoted during a 21-hour marathon speech on the Senate floor earlier this week and in nationwide television ads, Republicans could block funding for Obamacare by filibustering the bill to fund the government. In the Senate, filibusters can be overruled by 60 votes. With 46 Republicans in the chamber, they could unite and block funding for the law.

    But on Friday, only 18 Senate Republicans joined Cruz in voting against a procedural motion to move forward a bill to fund the government through mid-November. (While most said they were voting in protest of Obamacare, there were some

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  • Senate puts Obamacare funding back into spending bill and sends to House Republicans

    With only three days before the deadline for Congress to avoid a government shutdown, the Democrat-controlled Senate on Friday passed a bill to fund the government through Nov. 15, but stripped out a House Republican measure to defund the 2010 federal health care law known as Obamacare.

    The end-of-the-week, 54-44 party-line vote sets the stage for a showdown with House Republicans, who are demanding that Obamacare lose its funding as a condition of keeping the government open. Congress must agree to spending levels by midnight Tuesday, or the federal government will partially shut down.

    In the weeks preceding the vote, a small group of Senate Republicans, notably Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, actively campaigned to convince their colleagues to refuse to fund the government unless Obamacare is defunded. On Friday, they found few takers.

    The conservative lawmakers used a filibuster to force the Senate to take a procedural

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  • With shutdown looming, frustration on full display in the Senate

    You know the U.S. Senate is getting perilously close to Too Hot for C-SPAN territory when the presiding officer must stop everything and remind everyone that chamber rules require lawmakers to “address each other in the third person."

    On Thursday, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, who earlier this week joined Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in a 21-hour protest speech against the 2010 federal health care law, objected when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved to fast-track a spending measure that would nix Tuesday's looming government shutdown.

    The reason? Because viewers at home were expecting the vote to occur on Friday or Saturday — and he didn’t want them to miss it.

    Reid exploded as he took to the Senate floor.

    “This is not the House of Representatives,” he said from the floor. “We have rules here!"

    It's those very rules that keep business in the chamber moving at a snail's pace. Thursday's inaction means that even if the Senate moves ahead Friday, the House would not receive the bill

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  • Republicans bet that Obama is bluffing on debt ceiling

    House Republicans emerged from an hourlong private meeting on Thursday with a wish list of demands for Democrats and President Barack Obama in return for their approval on a measure to raise the federal government’s borrowing limit.

    Among the Republican requests: They want the individual mandate to buy health insurance that was in the 2010 federal health care law delayed for one year. Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Increased offshore oil drilling. More spending cuts.

    For months, however, the president and his deputies have said they are not willing to negotiate when it comes to raising the debt limit, which Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said this week must occur by Oct. 17. Not doing so, he said, could cause the federal government to default on spending obligations.

    Despite the warnings — House Speaker John Boehner said Obama called him last week to reiterate that there would be no compromise on the debt ceiling — Republican leaders refuse to take Obama at his word. They think

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  • Sorry, you're not 'essential': Who will work during a government shutdown?

    Barring congressional action, the federal government will “shut down,” on Oct. 1, but the question of whether Capitol Hill workers will get time off isn't as easy to answer as you might think. 

    In preparation for the possible shutdown, the Committee on House Administration on Wednesday unveiled a guide to help House members and office managers determine who will stay and who will go. In the House, only employees considered “non-essential” will be required to stay home, a designation that—let’s be honest—is pretty harsh.

    Security personnel, such as Capitol Hill police and the Secret Service, will be expected to show up for work under a shutdown scenario. But for many employees in the House who don't carry a gun to work, the designation can be vague.

    According to the committee memo, House offices can choose to keep workers deemed “essential to upholding its constitutional responsibilities."

    “Activities that directly support Members’ performance of their constitutional responsibilities

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  • Ted Cruz keeps on talking after marathon Obamacare protest on Senate floor

    Ted Cruz had just finished a 21-hour speech on the Senate floor in protest of the federal health care law when he was bombarded by a pack of eager reporters waiting for him outside the chamber. As though he were back on the floor, the Texas lawmaker kept right on speaking.

    “I hope over the course of this filibuster, the issues that were the heart of this debate were put on front and center for the American people,” he said. “Obamacare isn’t working.”

    Even exhaustion can’t take Cruz off his talking points.

    Cruz’s marathon protest speech, which he compared to the Bataan Death March, began on Tuesday afternoon, continued on through the night and ended at noon on Wednesday. During his time on the floor, Cruz read letters from constituents, took questions from other Republicans who joined him and conducted actual debates with Democrats, and he peppered his remarks with pop-culture references.

    The purpose, as Cruz explained, was to persuade other Republicans to join him in blocking Senate

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  • Top 5 pop culture moments from Ted Cruz's marathon speech

    Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz will have spent more than 20 hours speaking nearly nonstop on the Senate floor in protest of the federal health care law known as Obamacare when Senate rules force him to stop at noon Wednesday.

    But during his all-night talkathon, Cruz dabbled in pop culture, which will enshrine Dr. Seuss, Darth Vader, Duck Dynasty and Ashton Kutcher in the Senate record forever.

    Here are some of the top moments:


    1. Ted Cruz read Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham."



    2. On Wednesday morning, Cruz did a Darth Vader impression



    3. In the middle of the night, he invoked "Duck Dynasty" and quoted Toby Keith



    4. He admitted to loving White Castle burgers



    5. Even Ashton Kutcher got a shout-out on the Senate floor


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