Sep 19 2013
Two major legislative deadlines are approaching in the next few weeks, affording Republican House Representatives the chance to play political games: Congress has to pass a spending bill to fund the government past a deadline of September 30th, and raise the debt ceiling to prevent a government default before a mid-October deadline.
Over the course of the year, internal fighting among House Republicans on how best to use their majority leverage on these votes has resulted in an emerging consensus to hold President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, hostage to negotiations. To that end a vote is planned this Friday on a bill to pass government spending through mid-December while defunding Obamacare. Even if the bill passes and is sent to the Senate, Senate Democrats will use their majority to veto it, in turn sending it back to the House.
If the strategy to end Obamacare through the government spending bill fails, House Republicans have a Plan B – they intend on linking Obamacare’s defunding to a vote on raising the debt ceiling.
President Obama has responded by reaching out to what he views as the Republicans’ major constituency: corporate CEOs. Obama addressed top executives yesterday urging them to tell the GOP that a government default would hurt the economic recovery.
GUEST: Ellen Shaffer, co-director at the Center for Policy Analysis.