GOP Whip McCarthy: House Will Respond if Senate Rejects Bill

Sunday, 29 Sep 2013 12:54 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The House will come up with another bill to delay Obamacare if the Senate rejects its current plan, GOP Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy said Sunday, but he doesn't necessarily think the Senate will vote against the measure.

Further, he told "Fox News Sunday's" host Chris Wallace, Republicans "will not shut down the government."

"If we have to negotiate, we have to negotiate," the California lawmaker told Wallace.

Meanwhile, there are still several states with Democratic senators whose residents oppose Obamacare, McCarthy said, and "there will be pressure on their leaders."

But with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., vowing to reject the House's bill, House Republicans are ready to keep up the fight, McCarthy insisted.

“We will pass a bill 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 can protect the economy of America," said McCarthy.

Early Sunday, House Republicans, along with two Democrats, passed a second continuing resolution that includes a year-long delay of Obamacare, along with a permanent repeal of the law's medical devices taxes.

But many House Republicans fear the Senate may have the last say in the matter. The chamber is not scheduled to meet until mid-afternoon on Monday, only 10 hours before a shutdown would begin.

If the Senate rejects the House bill, as expected, the House GOP will likely face some blame for triggering the first partial government shutdown in nearly 20 years, or face not being able to meet their goal of stopping Obamacare.

McCarthy said that even if that happens, the House will be able to respond with yet another try.

“The House will get back together in enough time, send another provision not to shut the government down but to fund it and it will have a few other options in there for the Senate to look at again,” he said.

McCarthy decried President Barack Obama's refusal to negotiate the Obamacare impasse, saying he has negotiated with Iran and with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but not on a bill that is "creating a part-time America."

Meanwhile, he noted that Obama has already altered his signature healthcare bill himself, signing seven bills to change provisions.

In addition, the American public's opinion is turning against the nationwide insurance plan, he said.

"The more they learn, the more they object," McCarthy said.

Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, also appearing on the Sunday show, said he backs the changes the House made toward defunding Obamacare, but continued his outspoken criticism against the plan and its exclusions.

"It's it not ready for some, it's not ready for everyone," Lee said. “We want a delay for everyone. And the best way to do that is by defunding it; the only way to do that is in connection with the continuing resolution.”

Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, invited onto the show to debate with Lee on the issue, agreed that more discussion is needed about Obamacare, but "we shouldn’t connect it to a government shutdown."

Further, Kaine denied claims that states' Obamacare exchanges will cause people to lose their current medical care.

"The news about the exchanges is the number of options is so great, you’re going to have all kinds of options,” Kaine said.

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