Oct 18 2013

A Victory?

Senate moving toward vote on budget deal


10/16/13 9:30 AM EDT Updated: 10/16/13 2:28 PM EDT

The bill will barely scathe Obamacare and putting it on the floor will mark a huge concession by the House after sparking a prolonged government shutdown over insistence that the health care law be defunded or delayed as a condition to keep the government open. Dozens of conservatives in the House will be disappointed by the proposal.

The plan includes a proposal offered by McConnell in the 2011 debt ceiling crisis that allows Congress to disapprove of the debt ceiling increase, which means lawmakers will formally vote on whether to reject a debt ceiling increase until Feb. 7. Obama can veto that legislation if it passes. If Congress fails as expected to gather a two-thirds majority to override the veto, the debt ceiling would be raised.

The deal would also deliver back pay to furloughed federal workers, require income verification for people seeking health-insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act and also allow the Treasury Department to use extraordinary measures to pay the nation’s bills if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7.

McConnell was pushing hard to include language to give federal agencies more flexibility to implement the sequester, something Reid was objecting to Wednesday morning, sources say. Democrats argue that provision would make it harder to eliminate the sequester in the future and it was not included in the final package. A new round of sequester cuts will be enacted in January without further congressional action, mostly hitting the defense side of spending.

A Big Political and Procedural Victory for Democrats, But Not a Policy Win

By: Jon Walker, Firedog Lake

Wednesday October 16, 2013 8:19 am

After weeks of a needless shutdown the Republican party has folded. It sounds like the bill that will go before the House soon is a complete and total surrender from their original position on defunding Obamacare. There is no other way to frame it. The only “concession” they got from the actual shutdown was beefed up income verification on the exchanges. Basically, they shut down the government to ask President Obama to enforce and implement Obamacare more quickly.

This is not though a policy win for Democrats or progressives. This is a bad bill to end a bad month. The shutdown itself did real and needless damage to the American people. The government will also be funded at sequester levels, which is terrible for the economy but something Democrats already agreed to weeks before the shutdown started.

The irony is if Republican didn’t overplay their hand they could have been celebrating a real policy win on spending levels. Instead they come away looking crazy, incompetent, and weak.

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