The House capped off a wild week early Sunday morning and approved a spending plan that would delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Republican Congressman Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna bucked their party and voted no. The White House says the bill is dead on arrival, setting the stage for a possible government shutdown beginning October 1st. Our Washington, D.C. bureau reporter Michael Scotto has the story.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The anger in Washington is palpable these days. On the floor of the House, screaming erupted as Congressman Eliot Engel accused Republicans of wanting to shut down the government.
Engel said, "You can yell all you want, but you're not silencing the voice."
In the end, the House approved a government spending plan that would delay Obamacare for a year and scrap a tax that helps fund the law. New York Congressmen Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna were the only two republicans to oppose the delay. The vote happened one day after the Senate passed a funding plan that would keep the Affordable Care Act intact.
"Right now the media wants to paint it as Republicans are completely unreasonable and there are some that are, I agree with that. But to say if we don't acquiesce to everything Democrats want, we're the unreasonable ones. I don't buy that," Representative Michael Grimm.
The move means the government will almost certainly shut down next week, for the first time in nearly twenty years. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the Republican vote pointless. The White House promised a veto if it came to the President.
"This is regrettable and it's going to cause great loss to the taxpayer and really provide for a government shutdown, which is what they want," said Representative Paul Tonko.
Democrats did go along with a Republican measure that would pay military members during a government shutdown.
"Obviously we need to keep paying our men and women in uniform, but that really misses the point that we really shouldn't be shutting down the government period," Representative Sean Patrick Maloney.
The vote underscores the power of the tea party caucus, which all but forced House Speaker John Boehner to take this route, even though he knew Democrats would never go along with it. Even Republicans who supported the bill fear it emboldens the far right of their party
"If this part of a process fine, I'll vote for it. If we do, we just allow people to hijack our party and the government," said Representative Peter King.
The Senate is not scheduled to return until Monday, when it will likely reject the House's plan.