The House of Representatives is expected to vote late Monday night on a motion to go to conference with the Senate on the government-funding bill, a move that Democrats immediately rejected as a cynical political ploy.
Republicans decided not vote on the so-called “clean” CR as demanded by House and Senate Democrats, and the government partially shut down at midnight on Tuesday.
The House Rules Committee met at 10:30 p.m. to decide on a rule that will allow Majority Leader Eric Cantor to request a conference with the Senate. The House later voted to go to conference with the Senate by a 228-199 vote.
House Republicans think this move will put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democrats. And it will force them to the negotiating table.
“ It’s regular order,” a GOP leadership aide told Business Insider to the House's rationale. “It means we’re the reasonable, responsible actors trying to keep the process alive as the clock ticks past midnight , despite Washington Democrats' refusal — thus far — to negotiate.”
The aide said that the House GOP will likely not include in the motion a stopgap bill to fund the government for a short, one- or two-week period. Instead, they will again look to pass their latest offer — one that has in it two amendments that chip away at Obamacare, and that the Senate rejected Monday evening.
The House's final pre-shutdown move came after Republicans have rejected the idea of going to conference on the budget for months. Citing that fact — Republicans have opposed 18 opportunities to go to conference on the federal budget — Reid slammed House Republicans' latest “gambit” on the Senate floor.
He called on the House to pass a clean, six-week CR before the two chambers go to conference.
“We will not go to conference with a gun to our head,” Reid said. “... I want everyone to hear what I just said. We will not go to conference without a clean CR.”
The Senate will reconvene at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, when it will move to table the House GOP's latest plan.
"And," a Senate Democratic aide said, "we will be back at square one."
In case you're keeping score, here's the ping-pong that the Senate and House have played since Friday:
- Sept. 20: The House passed a continuing resolution that funds the government through Dec. 15 — but strips funding for Obamacare.
- Friday: The Senate passed a so-called “clean” continuing resolution that would have kept the government funded through Nov. 15. It stripped out the language defunding Obamacare.
- Saturday: The House decided against passing the Senate's CR, instead attaching to it two “poison pill” amendments that fundamentally altered the Affordable Care Act. The first two House amendments delayed Obamacare by one year and repealed a tax on medical devices.
- Monday afternoon: The Senate immediately tabled the two amendments, sending the CR back to the House.
- Monday night: The House decided again to not pass a “clean” CR, adding two more Obamacare-related amendments. These amendments delayed just the individual mandate by one year, and added language that would bar lawmakers, Congressional staffers, and administration staffers from receiving federal subsidies for health insurance under Obamacare.
- Less than an hour later, the Senate again rejected the House's amendments, putting the ball back in the House's court.
More From Business Insider