Democrats are fuming about the fact that, by including the ObamaCare language, the GOP is risking a government shutdown. But GOP leaders appear to see their proposal as the first step in a process that should involve the Senate.
On Thursday, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) seemed to reveal the GOP strategy: don't put the House in a position where it has to negotiate with itself. Instead, run it through regular order, which seems almost arcane today but is how lots of stuff used to get done.
"We'll send this over to the Senate, we'll see what our colleagues can do over there," Cole said. "Once they've made their decision ... then they'll send something back. And at that time, I have no doubt that we'll pick it up and react to it and try to respond in appropriate fashion."
Senate Democrats are already considering a plan that would let them call up the House-passed resolution and rely only on Democratic votes to strike the ObamaCare language. If successful, that might force the House to reconsider a "clean" spending resolution, one that many Republicans would likely oppose, but most Democrats would likely support.
On Thursday, BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE sounded like he was trying to insulate himself from GOP criticism if that outcome occurs, by shifting some responsibility to Senate Republicans.
"We're having the fight over here," he said. "We're going to win the fight over here, and it's time for them to pick up the mantle and get the job done."
After morning speeches, the House will turn to the spending resolution right away, then vote. Members will also finish work on H.R. 1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act.
The House debated the bill late Thursday, and disposed of four out of seven amendments.
The Senate is out today, but will return Tuesday to consider the spending resolution.