What One GOP Leader Thinks Will Happen If the Senate Kills the House Spending Plan

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce/AP

Early Sunday morning, the House passed a spending plan that delays Obamacare by a year, keeps the government open, and almost definitely will not make it through the Senate. If the House and Senate can't find a way to fund the government by Monday night, the government will shut down.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., didn't give much hope for a resolution on Sunday morning.

While McCarthy kept up the idea that the Senate actually could pass the House continuing resolution on Fox News Sunday, he gave host Chris Wallace some answers about what he thinks will happen if the Senate sends the CR back to the House, without an Obamacare delay or a medical device tax repeal. "I think the House will get back together and in enough time send another provision not to shut the government down but to fund it," McCarthy said, "and it'll have a few other options in there for the Senate to look at again."

Those "few other options" suggest that, at least right now, the House GOP leadership is not considering passing a "clean" CR—a plan that funds the government and doesn't touch Obamacare or anything else. If the Senate knocks down the House CR, McCarthy said, the House will pass a bill on Monday "that will keep the government open, that will reflect the House, that I believe the Senate can accept. That will have fundamental changes into Obamacare that will protect the economy for America."

Those "fundamental changes" have a few obvious possibilities. The House could pass a CR that includes just a medical device tax repeal, or an individual-mandate delay. Or, as National Review's Robert Costa reported on Saturday, it could include a version of the Vitter amendment, which wouldeliminate health care subsidies for members of Congress, their staff, and members of the executive branch.

Right now, it's hard to see how a House CR that includes any of these provisions could hold off a government shutdown. The Senate and White House are virtually sure to refuse a CR that includes an individual mandate delay, and a medical device tax repeal—which would cost $29 billion over a decade according to the Congressional Budget Office—could be a tough climb there as well.

It's not even clear that these "fundamental changes" would be able to get through the House, as powerful conservative groups like Heritage Action are already coming out and saying that they wouldn't support something like a medical device tax repeal, as it would "do nothing to prevent the law's entitlements from taking root and continues funding Obamacare in its entirety."

McCarthy did leave the door open for a possible short-term CR that would prevent the government from shutting down come Oct. 1, if only for a few days. "We will not shut the government down," McCarthy said. "If we need to negotiate a little longer, we will negotiate."

We'll see how that works out, or if that's, again, something that could even make it through the House. Right now, the odds of a shutdown are looking pretty good.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.