House to vote Saturday night on short-term spending measure

The House is expected to vote Saturday night on a short-term government funding bill that would delay ObamaCare for a year. 

The House will consider the Senate-passed spending measure, and two amendments. One would delay ObamaCare for a year, and the other would repeal the 2.3 percent medical device tax. It would also change the funding bill so that it lasts through Dec. 15, not Nov. 15.

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House Republican leaders set a second conference meeting for 8:30 p.m. on Saturday to update their members on the timing of the vote, which was expected late at night. 

The Senate has promised to reject any funding measure that delays ObamaCare, so the measure appears dead in the upper chamber. Without a deal, the government will shut down on Tuesday. 

House GOP leaders want to move the bill as quickly as possible to give the Senate time to consider it. 

Their strategy is two-fold, according to a House aide. The quick action will show the House is trying to move quickly in contrast to the Senate. Also, if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blocks quick Senate consideration of the bill, he wold be blamed more for a shutdown than House Republicans, the aide said. 

"I want to, first of all, keep the government from shutting down and then blame these guys. They're the ones who did it," said one veteran House Republican, referring to Cruz and his ally Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

Tensions between House GOP leaders and Cruz have been high all week. Cruz this week talked with rank-and-file House members, encouraging them to oppose House GOP leaders strategy of shifting the spending and ObamaCare fight to a debt ceiling bill.  

The GOP also wants to pass a separate bill ensuring funding for the military in the event of a government shutdown.

To get there, the House Rules Committee will have to approve a rule allowing these votes on the floor. As of 3:45 p.m. Saturday, that Committee had not announced when it would meet to approve that rule.

Once the rule is done, it will go to the floor and probably pass in a mostly party-line vote.

After that, members can vote on the two amendments and then on final passage of the spending resolution. The military funding bill is expected to be a separate vote, and will not be treated as an amendment to the CR.

This story was updated at 6:19 p.m.