Shutdown Deal Near—With Minor ObamaCare Tweaks

House GOPers slam 'Senate surrender caucus'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 15, 2013 4:45 AM CDT | Updated Oct 15, 2013 7:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – After talks that lasted late into the night, Senate lawmakers sound hopeful that they might soon be part of a fully functioning country again. "We've made tremendous progress," said Harry Reid, hinting that a bipartisan deal could be unveiled after he and Mitch McConnell powwow with their caucuses today. The deal nearing completion will reopen and fund the government through mid-January and extend the Treasury's borrowing authority until Feb. 7, insiders tell the Washington Post. "We've had a good day; had a good day yesterday," McConnell told reporters, though many of his fellow Republicans may not be so pleased about how the negotiations went:

  • The deal includes what Carrie Budoff Brown, writing for Politico, calls changes "so negligible" to ObamaCare "that even House Republicans are grumbling that it’s a clean debt limit increase." Republicans have won an agreement to have safeguards put in place to ensure people receiving federal health insurance subsidies meet the necessary income level, while Democrats are believed to have won a one-year delay to the $63-per-person levy on existing insurance policies, which was a labor union priority.
  • How that will play out: Should the deal pass, Brown expects the White House to frame the tweaks as "a one-for-one proposition—each party got a fix to the Affordable Care Act—[that] did not come as the price for raising the debt limit or restarting the government."
  • A rival plan being worked on by House Republicans led by Paul Ryan extends the debt limit for just six weeks, though many Republicans expect John Boehner to put the Senate plan up for a vote, despite fierce opposition from more conservative House members, the New York Times reports.
  • One such member, Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, slammed the "Senate surrender caucus" and said any House Republican who votes for the deal would "virtually guarantee a primary challenger."

Reporters surround Harry Reid after he left Mitch McConnell's office last night.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to his office from the Senate floor yesterday.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
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