House Passes Plan to Avert Federal Shutdown
GOP had to leave for Spring Break, which is more important than their purported economic principles.
The House gave final approval on Thursday to legislation to keep government financed through September, and it also passed a Republican blueprint that enshrined the party’s vision of a balanced budget that would substantially shrink spending, privatize Medicare and rewrite the tax code to make it simpler.
Representative Nancy Pelosi rejected a Republican suggestion to tie a debt ceiling increase to big changes to entitlements.
With a final flurry, Republican leaders sent the House home for a two-week recess, confident that they had outmaneuvered President Obama and the Democrats in the running fiscal fight from the last redoubt of Republican control in Washington. In the Senate, Republicans put Democrats on notice that passage of the Senate’s first budget since 2009 would come at a political price.
Democrats had to vote down an amendment, 46-53, on Thursday night that instructed them to rewrite their budget to balance it, something it never does. But in a nonbinding provision, the Senate voted overwhelmingly, 79-20, to repeal a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices that helps finance the president’s health care overhaul, the first step in what Republicans see as a chipping away of the law.