Word yesterday was that Republicans might attach the ObamaCare battle to the debt-ceiling debate, averting a government shutdown; today, that's looking less likely. Asked whether the House would accept a bill to fund the government after the Senate removes anti-ObamaCare measures, as it is expected to do, John Boehner replied. "I do not see that happening," the Wall Street Journal reports. With Monday marking the end of the fiscal year, the clock is ticking on the bill; despite this, Boehner still says he's not foreseeing a shutdown.
But GOP Sen. Mike Lee's objection yesterday prevented a vote in the Senate, and even some of his Republican colleagues are getting fed up. "The reason that we're putting this off is because they would like for people around the country that they have notified to be able to watch," says Sen. Bob Corker. Inside the battle:
- It was some two dozen GOP "hard-liners" who refused to accept the likely Senate version of the bill, the Washington Post reports, with the paper suggesting that we're "stumbl(ing) toward a shutdown." Those lawmakers don't want to address the debt limit until after the dust settles on government funding.
- Indeed, party divisions are taking a toll on Republicans, Politico suggests. Leaders see their fellow Republicans as flighty, while lower-ranking lawmakers see ineffective leadership. And some just don't have much faith in Boehner, tending to oppose whatever he puts forward.
- Here's Obama on the issue, per the New York Times: "No Congress before this one has ever, ever, in history been irresponsible enough to threaten default, to threaten an economic shutdown, to suggest America not pay its bills, just to try to blackmail a president into giving them some concessions on issues that have nothing to do with a budget."