Congress's ongoing feuds over funding the government and raising the debt ceiling are confusing.
So don't let anyone mock you at the bar later when you are asked, "What's not to get about a bill to keep funding the government that has been turned into a Republican vessel for an ultimatum to defund the Affordable Care Act?"
For those just tuning in, the basic state of play is this: The House is poised to vote on a continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare and keeps the sequester cuts in place; meanwhile, the Senate is sure to keep funding Obamacare when the CR comes its way. House and Senate Republicans have been bickering over this, with House conservatives saying Republican senators like Ted Cruz won't do enough to fight Harry Reid on the issue.
And, yeah, they need to come to a resolution by the end of the month to avoid shutting down the government. Got it? You can also think of it as a football game. Time's running out in the fourth quarter. The Republicans need to break the Democrats to get the touchdown that will obliterate the health care reform law. And here's how they can win, or lose.
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(Graphic via Steve Ercolani)