Obamacare Is Key Issue as Budget Battle Continues - NECN

Obamacare Is Key Issue as Budget Battle Continues



    House's proposed budget defunds Obama's Affordable Care Act; government shutdown looms unless compromise is struck (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN/NBC News: Brian Mooar) - In Washington, Congress and the president are facing another spending crisis and another fight over health care reform.

    House Republicans passed a budget that would effectively kill Obamacare. That is expected to be rejected this coming week by Senate Democrats.

    Congress has a little more than a week to pass a budget or face the very real possibility of a government shutdown until a compromise can be found.

    With Congress locked in another showdown over spending, President Obama is telling lawmakers to put aside their differences and pass a budget.

    "We are running out of time to fix this. But we could fix it tomorrow," said President Obama. "Both houses of Congress can take a simple vote to pay our bills on time, then work together to pass a budget on time."

    The House passed a spending bill on Friday, but it defunds the president's health care plan.

    "This legislation is in the Senate and now the ball is in Harry Reid's court to keep this government open," said Republican Rep. Trey Radel of Florida.

    The Senate - controlled by Democrats - and the president are not about to go along.

    That leaves nine days to work out a plan, or Uncle Sam stops paying the bills and the wheels of government come to a screeching halt.

    "They want to shut the government down and force the president to stop his healthcare bill," said Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington.

    The Senate may strip out the part of the bill that defunds Obamacare and bounce the bill back to the House.

    Meanwhile, the clock is ticking down to October 1.