House Republicans on Thursday pre-emptively refused on Thursday to pass any "clean" stopgap spending measure to fund the government past the end of Monday.
"I do not see that happening," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told NBC News When asked whether the House would pass a bill that simply continues funding for government operations without any spending cuts or other enticements attached to it.
If Boehner and House Republicans hold their ground, it could significantly increase the chances of a government shutdown given the quickly-elapsing time before the shutdown deadline.
While Boehner said he “does not expect” a shutdown to happen, if the House attaches anything to whatever legislation the Senate returns to the House, the slow parliamentary process doesn't easily lend itself to quickly passing another iteration of the "continuing resolution" to maintain government operations. Moreover, if the House GOP does attach something to whatever the Senate passes, Senate Democrats will most likely oppose those provisions.
The government effectively runs out of money at the end of the day on Sept. 30.
GOP Aides told NBC News the House could do a variety of things with a Senate-passed government funding bill.
Among Republicans' options would be to fund the government for a week in order to allow for furhter negotiations. But ideas being offered by Republicans -- which focus largely on Obamacare -- seem unlikely to win over Democrats. The GOP is mulling a plan to end a tax on medical devices included in the Affordable Care Act. An even more controversial proposal favored by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., would end employer contributions for healthcare for congressional staff. This idea seems to have gained traction among some conservatives.
Many Congressional staffers on both sides fear the legislation because it would effectively lead to thousands of dollars in cuts to salary and benefits.
One staffer told NBC News: “If that law passed, the race to K St would be unlike anything this town has seen.”
First published September 26 2013, 8:33 AM