Senate Denies Request For Formal Talks To End Stalemate

Capitolhill_2013WASHINGTON — Hours after the first government shutdown began, the Senate on Tuesday rejected the House’s request to hold formal talks on a stopgap spending bill that would end the stalemate.

The 54-46 vote along party lines reflected the ongoing politics of the issue. All of the Senate’s Democrats and the two independents who vote with them want a government funding bill with no restrictions, while Republicans want to affect President Obama’s health care law.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blamed the “irrationality” of Republicans in the House, and singled out a faction he calls “Tea Party radicals.”

“No matter how many times they try to extort the American people and the Democrats here in the Senate, we’re not going to re-litigate the health care issue,” Reid said, noting the U.S. Supreme Court has already upheld the Affordable Care Act as consitutional.

Shortly before midnight, Obama notified government agencies to prepare to cease operations Tuesday, even as House Republicans worked on a fourth and final attempt to again advance a plan to delay the individual mandate to buy health insurance exchanges that open for enrollment Tuesday.

Source: USA Today