US Nears Shutdown as House Delays Healthcare Law
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The US House of Representatives voted on Sunday to delay President Barack Obama’s healthcare law for one year, as the government moved closer to a possible shutdown.
The US House of Representatives early on Sunday brought the federal government closer to a shutdown as it voted to delay President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law for a year as part of an emergency spending bill.
By a mostly partisan vote of 231-192, the Republican-controlled House approved the “Obamacare” amendment, despite a veto threat from the White House, Reuters reported.
It also voted 248-174 to repeal a medical device tax that aims to help fund healthcare programs under the 2010 law.
And in a sign that lawmakers might be resigned to a government shutdown beginning Tuesday, the House unanimously approved a bill to keep paying US soldiers in the event the government runs out of money to run many programs.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reiterated on Saturday that the House bill would be dead on arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate, which is not scheduled to meet until 2 pm on Monday (1800 GMT).
Obama also threatened to veto any bill that delays his healthcare restructuring.
There is a slight chance the two sides could reach a funding deal before the government’s fiscal year ends at midnight on Monday. Congress could also act at any time to end the impasse if a shutdown did occur.
But the bitterness of the House debate on Saturday night that spilled into early Sunday did not bode well for prospects of a compromise.
The high-stakes maneuvering between Democrats and Republicans is likely to continue through much of Monday.
The standoff is also a harbinger for the next big political battle in Washington: a far more consequential bill to raise the federal government’s borrowing authority. Failure to raise the debt ceiling by mid-October could result in the government defaulting on its obligations.