[Edited at 8:54 pm to add House action Monday night and Senate leader statement]
The Senate voted 54-46 to reject the House's plan to hold the government hostage to its whims (including delaying Obamacare, okaying the Keystone Pipeline without regard to environmental objections, and imposing other anti-regulatory measures).
The President addressed the nation tonight on the Tea Party's attempt to hold the nation hostage to its demands about a law it doesn't like. As Obama noted, a minority in Congress does not get to "extract a ransom" to dictate its will to the majority on the basis of its undenied ability to cause great harm to the country and all of our citizens. Tiron, Rubin & Hunter, Government nears shutdown as Obama says he won't pay ransom, Bloomberg Businessweek (Sept 30, 2013).
The Tea Party/GOP set up another situation--planning to re-pass a measure that the Senate has already rejected and that Obama threatened to veto. Boehner refused to allow a vote on a spending bill without the Tea Party's conditions. Peter King, one of six responsible members of the GOP who voted against taking up the bill, admitted that what the GOP is doing is "leading ourselves into a government shutdown for no reason." The House just passed the new conditional funding bill 228-201, making its last offer the same old delay Obamacare offer that already failed.
Not surprisingly, every one of the 10 main industries in the S&P 500 dropped on the news.
Richard Hudson, a new Republican from North Carolina, claims that he doesn't want a shut down but "I also want to protect my constituents from this law." Fact is, the law is the first possible improvement in health care that this country has seen in decades. It is not perfect, but without the obstructionists Tea Party/GOP coalition, Americans would be eagerly awaiting the chance to get health insurance for pre-existing conditions and all the other improvements this law makes. Yet these Congresspeople are willing to put the country at risk in order to appease their rabidly irrational base. The Sacramento Bee (see Editorial: House GOP owns the shutdown, below) has it correct:
They can spin it all they want, but House Republicans manufactured the crisis that now threatens to shut down the federal government and wreak havoc on world finances. Unless they budge, they will go down in history as hostage takers willing to tank the economy if their demands are not met.
The Senate leaders announced that they would immediately pass the spending bill without the health care language and send it back to the House. See House Passes Another Budget Bill that Delays Health Law, New York Times (Sept 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm).
The Tea Party/GOP needs to stand down and start acting like legislators who have a duty to act for the good of the country rather than just the narrow interests of their base.