WASHINGTON (AP) — The political and economic stakes mounting with each tick of the clock, the White House and congressional Democrats say a House-approved delay in President Barack Obama’s health care law does nothing but push Washington to the brink of the first government shutdown in 17 years.
Neither side showed signs of surrender early Sunday after the Republican-led House added a one-year delay in implementing health-care reform to legislation that would avert a shuttering of federal offices on Tuesday. The near party-line vote was 231-192, shifting the focus to the Democratic-run Senate less than 48 hours before government funds run dry. (See separate story.)
Democrats said delaying the health care law would sink the bill. They also opposed a second provision the House added by 248-174: A repeal of a tax on many medical devices that helps finance the 2010 health care overhaul.
Republicans said the health care law, often called “Obamacare,” was costing jobs and pushing up costs. Americans dislike “this crazy, delusional idea that nationalized, centralized planning will work,” said Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C.
Obama has said he won’t let the law – his chief domestic achievement – be gutted. Democrats said Republicans were obsessed with attacking the measure, aimed at providing health coverage for millions of uninsured Americans, and the president.
“Your hate for this president is coming before your love of this country,” said Rep. David Scott, D-Ga. “Because if you love this country you would not be closing it down.”