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Shutdown Showdown Intensifies Over Obamacare Delay [VIDEO]

The White House and congressional Democrats say House approval of a delay in President Barack Obama’s health care law does nothing but push the government closer to a partial shutdown in less than 48 hours.

Congress votes on Saturday night
Congress votes on Saturday night (CSPAN)

The Republican-run House voted 231-192 early Sunday to delay Obamacare for a year while also providing funds so federal offices won’t have to close Tuesday morning.

The No. 3 House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, says the House won’t relent on its demands for “fundamental changes” in the health care law. But he also tells “Fox News Sunday” that “We will not shut the government down” and says “we will continue to negotiate.”

Democrats oppose the health care delay and another provision: A repeal of a medical device tax that helps finance the 2010 health care overhaul.

With the political stakes mounting with each tick of the clock, the White House says Obama will veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

It’s doubtful it will get that far — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says it will die in his chamber.

Hagel calls govt shutdown threat ‘shortsighted’

Representative Frank Pallone speaks on the floor of the House
Representative Frank Pallone (D) speaks on the floor of the House (CSPAN)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is criticizing Congress as “astoundingly irresponsible,” and says that using threats to shut down the government to satisfy a political whim is dangerously shortsighted.

Hagel oversees as many as half of the government civilians who would be furloughed next week if Congress fails to agree on a short-term spending plan to keep the government running. Roughly 400,000 Defense Department civilians could face furloughs.

The defense secretary tells reporters that the impasse threatens to delay paychecks to troops serving in Afghanistan. He also warns that such actions will lead to the United States of America becoming a country that’s “ungovernable.”

Hagel made the comments Saturday while flying to South Korea for meetings with top defense and diplomatic leaders from South Korea and Japan.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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