Tags: Budget | Battle | Cruz | mcconnell

McConnell: Won't Support Cruz on Senate Test Vote

Monday, 23 Sep 2013 06:30 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

In a break with tea party-aligned Senate conservatives, Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced Monday he will not vote to block legislation aimed at preventing a partial government shutdown. Senate Democrats need six Republicans to 'cross-over' and allow a Senate vote to proceed, at which time Democrats intend to rewrite the bill to restore funds needed to keep the nation's three-year-old health care law in existence.

Referring to a bill the House passed last week, McConnell's spokesman said the Kentucky lawmaker supports the [House] measure "and will not vote to block it, since it defunds Obamacare and funds the government without increasing spending by a penny."

The spokesman, Don Stewart, added that McConnell will vote against any Democratic attempt to restore funding for the health care law.

The announcement came shortly after Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that anyone who votes to let the bill advance toward final passage will be choosing to allow the Democrats to restore the health care money by majority vote, one they will almost certainly win. "I think that vote disserves our constituents," he said.

With his announcement, McConnell put himself firmly in the camp of Republicans who are adamantly opposed to any partial government shutdown, no matter the other stakes involved.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took the same position in comments to reporters. "How can I vote against a bill that I support," he asked rhetorically.

Democrats control 54 Senate votes, meaning they need six crossover Republicans to assure the spending bill does not fall victim to a filibuster that would doom its prospects. The announcements by McConnell and McCain likely indicate they will have no difficulty in gaining the support they need.

Cruz said last week he was prepared to filibuster any legislation that restores money for the health care law, even if it meant a shutdown. In remarks on the Senate floor during the day, though, he appeared to soften his tone.

"We should not have a government shutdown and we should never, ever, ever even discuss a default on the debt," he said. The House is expected to approve legislation this week that permits the Treasury to borrow freely for a year — preventing a first-ever default — while delaying the health care law for a year.

Earlier in the day, Cruz's battle to deny funding for the nation's three-year-old health care law got off to a shaky start when he first blocked action on unrelated items on the agenda, then quickly backed off.

"There will be time" later in the week to debate the health care issue, he told reporters as he left the Senate floor.

At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., arranged for an initial test vote Wednesday on House passed-legislation that would avoid a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1 while simultaneously canceling funding for the health care law.

A second key vote is set for later in the week as Democrats seek to keep the health care law intact and Cruz and other Republicans resist.

It was unclear why Cruz objected when Reid sought confirmation for four presidential appointees during the day, the kind that are routinely approved without votes in the Senate. Nor did he say why he changed his mind less than an hour later to permit confirmation. The four included two appointments to the Federal Election Commission, one Democrat and one Republican, a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and a State Department nominee.

In the interim, Reid said he has the votes to prevail on the health care issue.

"Any bill that defunds Obama and his health care law is dead on arrival in the Senate," he said.

For its part, the Obama administration spent the day warning of dire consequences unless Congress approves funding beyond the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Medicare beneficiaries could lose their fully-paid annual wellness doctor's visit if funding is cut off, prescription drug costs could rise, and millions of seniors who are enrolled in private Medicare coverage might be required to switch to the traditional fee-for-service coverage to continue receiving health care.

Sebelius also said federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program would end on Oct. 1, some Medicaid recipients would lose coverage and Indian health programs would also be affected.

___

Associated Press writers Donna Cassata and Laurie Kellman contributed to this report.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

US Targets Al Shabab Leader in Somalia Airstrikes

Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 05:31 AM

U.S. military forces attacked the extremist al-Shabab network in Somalia Monday, the Pentagon said, and a witness descri . . .

Sen. Mark Udall: 'I Absolutely Stand By' Call for CIA's Brennan to Resign

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 21:58 PM

Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan may have avoided losing his job over charges that the CIA spied on Sen . . .

US Forces Carry Out Operation Against Al-Shabaab in Somalia

Monday, 01 Sep 2014 20:44 PM

U.S. military forces carried out an operation on Monday against al Shabaab militants in Somalia, a U.S. Department of De . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved