J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 | 6:10 p.m.
A government shutdown is quite literally coming down to the eleventh hour in Congress tonight, after the House passed another budget resolution that picks at Obamacare, this time by delaying the individual health care mandate for a year and withholding subsidies for lawmakers and their staffers purchasing health insurance on the new exchanges.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised that the Senate would vote down the measure within the hour.
“The Senate will vote it down and the House Republicans will be in the same pickle they’re in right now,” Reid said Monday night.
Reid challenged lawmakers campaigning to strip members of Congress and their staffers of health care subsidies to simply “decline the congressional employer contributions and pay their own way.”
“They should stop being hypocritical; they should practice what they preach,” Reid said, adding that it was “mean-spirited” to stick the cost burden to staffers.
Once the Senate rejects the House’s latest proposal, there will be less than three hours before the government officially goes into shutdown.
“There’s still a way for the Speaker to get out of this quagmire, to get out of this hole, this ditch they’ve dug for themselves … Let the government work its will,” Reid said, calling for a vote in the House on a budget extension, devoid of any measures to defund, delay, or otherwise alter Obamacare.
But Reid seemed to expect that Republicans would not listen to his plea.
“I’m not sure they want to get out of this hole,” he said.
House Republicans are expected to convene again tonight to discuss their next steps, after the Senate strips away the anti-Obamacare provisions and sends the bill back.
They are likely to try to vote again before midnight, but procedurally, there may not be enough time.
Reid warned that in Nevada, the consequences of shutdown would be felt not just by federal employees, but across the tourism sector: Lake Mead and Red Rock, he said, would be closed in just a few hours.