Now that the Senate has voted to open debate on a bill to fund the government, Harry Reid can remove its measures to defund ObamaCare before returning it to the House. But that doesn't mean the GOP is giving up on the fight. John Boehner could approve the bill, thus avoiding a government shutdown—and simply link the ObamaCare battle to another piece of legislation. That bill: a measure to raise the debt ceiling, creating what the Washington Post calls "an even more nerve-racking deadline" of Oct. 17 to avoid the US defaulting on its debt.
Republicans could refuse to approve the debt-limit hike without getting a yearlong delay of ObamaCare measures in return, the Post reports. Party leaders are set to present the plan today; it could also include provisions like federal health cuts, civil service pension cuts, and a tax-reform plan. But the White House says it's not worried. "Once you start saying 'delay' with something as damaging as the default of the United States, people hear the second part: They hear the default," says a strategist.