Reid: Senate to reject 'pointless' House GOP stopgap spending measure

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Saturday that the Senate would quickly reject House Republican changes to a short-term funding bill that would delay ObamaCare for a year.


"Today's vote by House Republicans is pointless," Reid said. "As I have said repeatedly, the Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government funding bill or the debt ceiling.

"Furthermore, President Obama has stated that he would veto such measures if they ever reached his desk."

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Reid's statement indicated that the Senate would not just ignore the House bill, and would instead find time to vote on it before October 1, when government funding runs out.

"To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax," he said.

Reid's comments raise the question of whether the Senate will return on Sunday to reject the House bill. As of late Saturday afternoon, however, there was no sign of an early return for the upper chamber, which is due back at work Monday at 2 p.m.

House Republicans are expected to pass their changes tonight — aside from delaying ObamaCare for a year, the House will will also eliminate the 2.7 percent medical device tax.

The Senate would likely need a unanimous consent agreement to move to the House bill quickly, which raises the question of whether Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) or other Republicans would agree to quickly vote on the bill.

Reid on Saturday repeated his warning that the House must pass the Senate's "clean" spending resolution in order to avoid a shutdown.

"After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one: Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate's clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown," he said.

"Senate Democrats have shown that we are willing to debate and vote on a wide range of issues, including efforts to improve the Affordable Care Act," he added. "We continue to be willing to debate these issues in a calm and rational atmosphere. But the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists."