Are any Senate Republicans voting with Reid to block the defunding of ObamaCare?

posted at 4:41 pm on September 18, 2013 by Allahpundit

Just thinking out loud about what’s next now that Boehner and Cantor have punted to McConnell and Cruz in the Senate. Procedure wonks are invited to correct me, but unless I’m mistaken, there are two next steps once the House gets done passing a continuing resolution that defunds O-Care. First, Reid may bring the House bill to a vote in the Senate. He doesn’t have to, I think, but he might want to do so in order to advertise that it doesn’t have majority support there. Question one: How will Senate Republicans who oppose shutting down the government vote on that? Last time I checked, that’s most of the caucus — even fiscal conservatives like Tom Coburn, who reject the “defund” movement because they think it’ll surely result in a standoff with the Democrats and a destructive shutdown on which the GOP will ultimately cave. But that doesn’t mean Coburn et al. have to vote against the House bill. They could vote for it, if only as a symbolic rejection of ObamaCare, knowing that the bill will be killed by Democrats along party lines. If that’s what happens, then the bill loses 45/55.

The next step after that is unclear right now. Boehner and Cantor could try to pass a new CR in the House that funds ObamaCare while reassuring conservatives that they’ll try again on defunding during the debt-ceiling fight. Or Reid could try to pass a new CR along those same lines in the Senate. (A Twitter pal notes that bills related to revenue are supposed to originate in the House, but I believe the usual workaround for that is simply stripping the content from a House bill that’s already reached the Senate and substituting the text of a Senate CR.) Question two: How do Senate Republicans vote on that one? Maybe Coburn, McCain, and a few other “defund” skeptics decide to bite the bullet and vote with Reid, having already cast a symbolic vote against ObamaCare by supporting the first House CR. But that won’t solve their political problem with conservatives. Righties will attack them, not without reason, for destroying the House’s leverage ahead of a shutdown by siding with Reid, who’ll crow that even Senate Republicans think the House is nuts. It’s impossible to imagine the “defunders” winning a PR war when the White House is armed with a talking point like that. Which means maybe Coburn et al. will have no choice but to vote no on Reid’s CR too, even though they’d surely support the same bill if it was already approved by the House. That means Reid CR will be filibustered, 55/45, leaving the Senate deadlocked and nothing on Obama’s desk.

At that point, with odds of a shutdown rising, the pressure from Boehner and Cantor on Republicans to pass a clean CR through the House and focus on the debt ceiling would be intense. (“What the conservatives don’t understand is that a shutdown is terrible for Republicans, but default is terrible for everyone.”) That’s what the Senate Republican “defund” skeptics are waiting for: Once the House caves on funding O-Care, they’ll be the lightning rod for conservative upset, not the Senate. Then the Senate GOP can vote en masse for the House’s CR, with only the “defund” true believers like Cruz, Paul, and Lee voting no on principle. That’s how I think this is going to play out, but like I say, I’m willing to be corrected.

Here’s McCain on CNN this morning sounding very mavericky indeed about the prospects of a shutdown. You won’t be surprised to learn that Jeff Flake, who’s stood shoulder to shoulder with McCain on all sorts of policies since joining the Senate this year, agrees with him. Skip to 5:40 for the key bit. Will Maverick vote to block the “defund” crowd before he absolutely has to?

Update: I tweaked the headline a tiny bit for clarity.


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Republicans who are RINOs not in name only.

davidk on September 18, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Interestingly, if the congress, especially the supposedly GOP controlled House, would go through normal budgeting processes, instead of continually using a CR, it would be much easier to fund the rest of the government without funding Obamacare. So, why don’t they do it?

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Uhm, am I mistaken…but we can’t default unless we don’t pay our debts? Who’s talking default here? A few worthless government agencies shutting down but still paying our debts is not default, did I misunderstand something?

Alinsky on September 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Shut it all down.

The looters the most, the moochers next, are ruining the country. Make them all starve.

Rs, YOU will never, ever, ever, again win anything without the Cs. In 2008 you fooled them for the last time. Some people actually do learn. YOU can all go to where the Ds are going.

Flake has the next best name, right after Charles Blow/Weiner.

Schadenfreude on September 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Righties will attack them, not without reason, for destroying the House’s leverage ahead of a shutdown by siding with Reid, who’ll crow that even Senate Republicans think the House is nuts.

That leverage has already been destroyed by Boehner, Cantor, et al.

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Cantor is a swine as big as obama and his thugs.

Schadenfreude on September 18, 2013 at 4:51 PM

So, why don’t they do it?

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Budgets have to be passed by the Senate. No chance of that happening with the Democraps in charge.

UltimateBob on September 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Then the Senate GOP can vote en masse for the House’s CR, with only the “defund” true believers like Cruz, Paul, and Lee voting no on principle. That’s how I think this is going to play out, but like I say, I’m willing to be corrected.

I’m certainly interested to see which House and Senate GOP members are going to vote to buy in to Obamacare.

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Budgets have to be passed by the Senate. No chance of that happening with the Democraps in charge.

UltimateBob on September 18, 2013 at 4:52 PM

But, what budget would Obamacare go into? You could pass all of the other budgets and then that one would be the only hold up. They used to have several budget bills, not just one omnibus CR.

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 4:53 PM

It’s a tough situation….better get Vlad Putin on the line to negotiate!

Deafdog on September 18, 2013 at 4:55 PM

It’s a tough situation….better get Vlad Putin on the line to negotiate!

Deafdog on September 18, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Maybe he can get us a 13% flat tax while he’s at it.

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Uhm, am I mistaken…but we can’t default unless we don’t pay our debts? Who’s talking default here? A few worthless government agencies shutting down but still paying our debts is not default, did I misunderstand something?

Alinsky on September 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

I believe there’s supposed to be 2 separate votes, although in quick succession. One would allow the total amount of debt to exceed a pre-defined threshold (the debt ceiling), and one which would authorize the government to continue spending money in the manner it has previously spent (the continuing resolution).

From my limited understanding, without a CR the government shuts down, but if the government continues to spend but is unable to borrow because its deficit runs into the debt ceiling, then it defaults.

Stoic Patriot on September 18, 2013 at 4:59 PM

It is known by all at the main evils of the commie Democra party could have never been made law without the votes of the RINO’s who make the Two Party Evil Money Cult possible.

They all know in advance who will be the crimials who will vote with the Commies.

It is their destiney.

We the Free Americans are making another choice and the path is clear. It must be right over the top of these evil ones who betray U.S. all.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on September 18, 2013 at 4:59 PM

I don’t even pretend to understand all this double speak gobbly gook!

The American people overwhelmingly do not want Obamacare. Politicians, do your jobs.

Quit f***ing us around.

Amjean on September 18, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Interestingly, if the congress, especially the supposedly GOP controlled House, would go through normal budgeting processes, instead of continually using a CR, it would be much easier to fund the rest of the government without funding Obamacare. So, why don’t they do it?

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

They’re lawmakers. Why should they know how rules & laws work?

portlandon on September 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

I can never understand Boehner and Cantor’s logic. As I see it the House spending bill has no need to say much of anything about Obamacare. Or at most a simple continueing resolution something like “all federal government functions with the exception of the Affordable Care Act continue to be funded at previous levels’.

Then the Democrat Senate has the option of passing it and keeping the govt open or not passing it and thus voting to shut down the government that the Republican House has already voted to keep open.

All this other defunding language and ‘if this… then this’ language that Boehner keeps trying to stick in the bill is ridiculous and unnecessary.

mjzman on September 18, 2013 at 5:02 PM

doesn’t Reid need 60 votes to shut off debate on any CR?

last time I looked he only had 55 votes, and some of the Ds are precarious if Reid uses the House bill, which I doubt he will, in order to protect vulnerable incumbents.

matthew8787 on September 18, 2013 at 5:03 PM

The smell of fear is heavy in the air now.

Both parts of the evil money clut know we are on to the con.

The marks have caught on to the con.

We are no longer just Tax ID’s for the use of the evil one in Washington D.C..

The re-election money has been easy to secure.

It will not be easy to avoid the judgment that comes to them for the crimes aginst U.S..

APACHEWHOKNOWS on September 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Allah has already begun agreeing with the misinformation that shutdown =default. That is not true.

kpguru on September 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Interestingly, if the congress, especially the supposedly GOP controlled House, would go through normal budgeting processes, instead of continually using a CR, it would be much easier to fund the rest of the government without funding Obamacare. So, why don’t they do it?

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 4:48 PM

It wouldn’t be any easier, especially since El PRL isn’t exactly interested in stopping PlaceboCare and especially PlaceboCare’s subsidies. They don’t have, haven’t had, and will never have have the gumballs to force a conference budget that so much as takes $0.01 from PlaceboCare, even though said budget doesn’t go to Obama’s desk.

Steve Eggleston on September 18, 2013 at 5:10 PM

doesn’t Reid need 60 votes to shut off debate on any CR?

last time I looked he only had 55 votes, and some of the Ds are precarious if Reid uses the House bill, which I doubt he will, in order to protect vulnerable incumbents.

matthew8787 on September 18, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Budget bills are not subject to the filibuster. They can pass with 51 votes.

Kafir on September 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Here’s an idea: do your best to defund it.

If it works, you win.

If it does not, you still win.

Why do you think 0bama is calling for ginormous tax and debt ceiling increases, you ninnies? It is because the ACA is sucking all the revenue out of the government to begin with.

The ACA is already starving. Make the dems own the total collapse of all government services in the face of an increasingly crippled economy.

But never back down. Not when you have truth, math, and polls on your side.

StubbleSpark on September 18, 2013 at 5:15 PM

I’ve seen this movie once, twice or more. RINO’s will cave, Democrats will come in to save the children, weak, elderly and the poor. And Obamcare will be the rule of the land.

DDay on September 18, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Budget bills are not subject to the filibuster. They can pass with 51 votes.

Kafir on September 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM

That was my initial thought, but then I thought maybe that just applies to conference budget bills? I don’t remember.

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 5:16 PM

…unbelievable!

KOOLAID2 on September 18, 2013 at 5:22 PM

As for the number of Rats that will vote with Dingy, he’ll either get just enough to get to 60, even on the CR which can’t be filibustered or get the half of the caucus that’s forming El Partido Republicano Legado to replace the GOP brand.

Steve Eggleston on September 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

If I recall correctly, the traditional process was (a) to adopt a budget, i.e., a spending plan; then (b) to vote on a series of appropriations bills that actually put the money into the various parts of the approved budget.

The whole CR charade began when, due to the ever-increasingly rancorous politics, the usual and customary order was no longer adequate to bear the creaking weight of the Leviathan.

ugottabekiddingme on September 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Rats, Pubbies; what’s the difference? Other than Cruz, Paul, Lee and a few others, there is none in the Senate.

Steve Eggleston on September 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

You miss the point; how many DEMOCRAT Senators will vote to Defund?
Tough races coming up, MASSIVELY unpopular program, unions on the warpath about it…Won’t some Dems vote to save their political hides? Harry will have a probliem within his OWN caucus.

michaelo on September 18, 2013 at 5:33 PM

At first glance, expect the following Republicans to vote with the Democrats to save Obamacare; it’s what they do:

John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, and Lisa Murkowski pretty much for sure.

Possibly voting for it would include:

Marco Rubio, Kelly Ayotte, and Pat Toomey, who have shown that when push comes to shove, they can be had by Obama.

And there are a few more that I am not all that confident about.

But it is worth the effort, and better than the pre-emptive surrender the Republicans so desperately want. Separating the sheep from the goats, and making it clear that the Institutional Republican party is anything but an opposition party, is worth it for any future political arrangements that may come about.

Subotai Bahadur on September 18, 2013 at 5:43 PM

You miss the point; how many DEMOCRAT Senators will vote to Defund?
Tough races coming up, MASSIVELY unpopular program, unions on the warpath about it…Won’t some Dems vote to save their political hides? Harry will have a probliem within his OWN caucus.

michaelo on September 18, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Zero, if they don’t want a primary challenge.

Steve Eggleston on September 18, 2013 at 5:44 PM

If I recall correctly, the traditional process was (a) to adopt a budget, i.e., a spending plan; then (b) to vote on a series of appropriations bills that actually put the money into the various parts of the approved budget.

ugottabekiddingme on September 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Yeah. That’s what I meant. It’s been so long since it happened that I’ve forgotten the correct terminology.

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Pass the CR, funding O-Care, but rescinding all of the exemptions granted by Madame HSS, and OMB.
Let the advocates for O-Care have it, Good & Hard.

Another Drew on September 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM

McVain et al should consider for a moment the prospect of a debt ceiling icrease arriving in the Senate tied to ObamaCare repeal/defunding, and make a deal now with Cruz/Lee/Johnson to support the House bill as a unified front. On the part of the Defund crowd, they could agree that they won’t tie the upcoming debt increase bill to ObamaCare defunding as well (assuming they are fully satisfied with the tenor of the McVain groups support).

Once that battle is over, and the House bill loses on party lines, the House should, as Plan B, then pass a new CR with all waivers set aside, all government employees forced into the program, all Warn Act fines reinstated (and all other illegal acts corrected), and then send that to the Senate. How could the Democraats turn that deal down? If they do, fine, it’s on them.

MTF on September 18, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Another Drew on September 18, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Yes, add in put all the Members of Congress and staff back into O-Care.

Good & Hard and up the right places.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on September 18, 2013 at 6:38 PM

I thought the Tea Party asked the Republicans to stop voting for stupid stuff and actually do something. But I guess to all those non-rino types symbolism is all that counts.

petunia on September 18, 2013 at 6:39 PM

petunia on September 18, 2013 at 6:39 PM

…missed you!

KOOLAID2 on September 18, 2013 at 6:59 PM

When Maverick retires, he can damned well take Jeff Flake with him.

GarandFan on September 18, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Giving the trolling the House PRL is doing, I’m expecting at least 75 Senate votes for the Dingy versions of the CR and debt-ceiling deals, with no defunding, no delay (not even a codification of the employer mandate delay), and no Keystone XL.

Steve Eggleston on September 18, 2013 at 7:31 PM

It would be very wise for the Senate GOP to UNITE against the Obamacare BULLSCHMIDT like they did in 09/10 and put the burden squarely on Dingy and the DEMs

if *they* shut the govt down, it is THEM who will receive the wrath of The People

Rasmussen reported yesterday that 51% of Americans polled say ‘shut down govt until Obamacare DEFUNDED’

now, this means his GOPe client has asked that this Q be tested, and we have HALF the country up front saying – SHUT IT DOWN! (WOOHOOOOOOOOO!)

Boehner, if Dingy and the DEMs reject HJ 62 the DEFUND Bill, it is THEM who will shut govt down

let Cruz and Lee take over the messaging and you just practise NOT BLINKING in front of a mirror, ….. WIMP

#BeClingers ————–> #AmericaRISING

exodus2011 on September 18, 2013 at 7:43 PM

doesn’t Reid need 60 votes to shut off debate on any CR?

last time I looked he only had 55 votes, and some of the Ds are precarious if Reid uses the House bill, which I doubt he will, in order to protect vulnerable incumbents.

matthew8787 on September 18, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Better make it at least 58, you keep forgetting McLaim, Fluke and Graham. And I have no idea how Murkowski will vote. Along with another 2-3 RINOs. So, not that unreachable as many think.

riddick on September 18, 2013 at 10:47 PM

Maybe he can get us a 13% flat tax while he’s at it.

besser tot als rot on September 18, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Isn’t it scary when communists have much better way of reality than we do? Not a fan of their continued king rule, but in the end if you’re a small business owner you are way better than those here.

And with all the “ironic” BS about Syria providing proof they did not use Sarin, we have yet to see any proof from Hussein and Co. And no one calling Hussein on it.

riddick on September 18, 2013 at 10:50 PM

(A Twitter pal notes that bills related to revenue are supposed to originate in the House, but I believe the usual workaround for that is simply stripping the content from a House bill that’s already reached the Senate and substituting the text of a Senate CR.)

I find it amusing when people talk about rules like this. The DC elites have no rules and there are a very limited number of laws they are subject to. If they have a “D” in front of their name, that number is just about zero.

Wine_N_Dine on September 18, 2013 at 11:16 PM

The folks and pundits arguing that “it won’t be Republicans shutting down the government, it will be Senate Democrats” are living in a fantasy world. That is never the way it is perceived because the set-up is always valiant Democrats fighting for the people against pennypinching Republicans willing to hurt people to protect the rich. That’s the media line and it still works – witness last November’s results.

On Special Report tonight, Steve Hayes quoted a current poll showing 54% would blame Republicans for a shutdown vs 26% who would blame Obama or Democrats. Even those who want ObamaCare repealed oppose using a government shutdown as leverage.

It looks like blackmail. It isn’t selling. This idea has been pushed for weeks, shouldn’t we begin to see some movement in support?

Adjoran on September 19, 2013 at 12:06 AM