By Vicki Needham - 09/19/13 10:25 PM EDT
FRIDAY'S BIG STORY:
Ready for a showdown: The House is set on Friday to battle over a continuing resolution (CR) proposed by House Republicans that would defund President Obama's signature healthcare law.
The House is expected to approve the measure, although it will undergo a few changes before the House sees it again next week.
The main change will ensure that ObamaCare funding remains intact.
Without a funding deal, the government will shut down on Oct. 1.
Either way, the stopgap measure will only fund the government until Dec. 15, meaning there will be another fight within the next several months.
The White House issued its expected veto threat against the bill.
"Your side wants to defund government," House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said to his Republican colleagues. "They may not want to shut the door on government, [but they] want to defund it badly and undermine our national security, our economy and the operations of the government."
Democrats also have said that continuation of the sequester cuts is another reason why they oppose the bill.
House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) said he still has some concerns about ObamaCare, but that threatening a shutdown is going too far.
"This is not the way to do business," he said. "I've never been for repealing it because I'm a big supporter of the exchanges."
President Obama on Thursday promised he would veto the government funding bill from House Republicans, although it is unlikely to ever reach his desk it is current form.
Obama did say he is willing to support a short-term bill to fund the government to keep everything up and running.
Hoyer wants to play hardball once the Senate rejects the House bill.
They want the top-line spending level to rise to $1.058 trillion from the current $986 billion level.
On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidMcCain files B amendment to boost defense spending Dems to GOP: Cancel Memorial Day break Sanders fundraises for Feingold in Wisconsin Senate race MORE (D-Nev.) seemed to have identified a legislative strategy to fund the federal government without forcing Republicans to vote against language to defund ObamaCare.
The procedural move would probably mean the use of an “amendment to strike” to kill the House-originated language that would defund the new healthcare law while keeping the government funded.
After jumping through a bunch of procedural hoops, which The Hill's Alex Bolton lays out, the Senate could pass a clean measure.
Reid said Thursday that Senate Republicans will be responsible for a government shutdown if they support the House measure.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are under intense pressure to back the defunding effort.
Speaker BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief fears sequestration's return MORE-challenges-senate-gop-to-get-the-job-done- " mce_href="http://thehill.com/homenews/house/323347-boehner-challenges-senate-gop-to-get-the-job-done- " target="_blank">John BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief fears sequestration's return MORE (R-Ohio) said he expected them to put up a fight.
Still, it's hard to know how the Senate GOP will handle the dilemma of the ObamaCare defunding vs. a politically precarious government shutdown.
I guess we'll find out next week.
WHAT ELSE WE'RE WATCHING
Leaving on a jet plane: Vice President Biden and several Cabinet officials will be in Mexico on Friday to kick off the first-ever high level economic dialogue between the two nations.
Biden will deliver the opening address and sit down with President Enrique Peña Nieto as part of the launch of the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue in Mexico City.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael FromanOvernight Finance: GOP faces dilemma on spending bills | CEOs push Congress on tax rules | Trump talks energy Obama administration strikes deal on TPP data storage White House developing legislative strategy to pass Pacific trade deal MORE and Commerce Secretary Penny PritzkerPenny PritzkerOvernight Cybersecurity: Obama signs trade secrets bill Overnight Finance: Trump now open to raising minimum wage Pritzker urges passage of trade deals to boost US exports MORE are among the top officials who will attend the wide-ranging meetings about the two nations economic priorities.
Missouri bound: As Biden heads south, President Obama will travel on Friday to Ford's new stamping plant near Kansas City. The president will ramp up his pivot to economic issues, highlighting "the progress we have made since the beginning of the financial crisis five years ago and the work that lies ahead to continue strengthening our economy."
Food stamps: The House passed a bill on Thursday evening that would cut $39 billion from the federal food stamp program over the next decade.
The vote was close — 217-210. The bill would authorize food stamp programs for three years.
Democrats strongly opposed the bill, developed by Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorJohn Feehery: GOP: Listen to Reince The Trail 2016: Dems struggle for unity Overnight Regulation: Supreme Court rejects GOP redistricting challenge MORE (R-Va.).
As they have over the last week, Republicans defended the cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as a way to trim excess from the rapidly growing program. They also rejected Democratic charges that the cuts would hurt vulnerable Americans.
The bill would eliminate the option states have today of seeking a waiver from rules that require able-bodied adults to work or participate in a job-training program in order to receive extended SNAP benefits. Republicans said ending the waiver would help focus federal benefits on the most needy.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that up to 3.8 million people will lose food stamp benefits next year.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
— Lawmakers' pay on the line in House bill
— JPMorgan agrees to refunds and fine over improper credit card charges
— Stakeholders: Tax reform doesn't look good
— Existing-home sales highest since 2007
— Sen. Levin aims at offshore tax loopholes
— Biden heading to Mexico to talk trade, economic ties
— JPMorgan agrees to $920 million fine for 'London Whale' trades
— Lawmakers want SEC to name names in ‘London Whale’ case
— Administration takes $53M step toward new tobacco regulations
— McCain: Cruz is free to filibuster but won't succeed
— Coalitions offer united front on tax reform
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