WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — Democrats in Congress have made it clear they do not plan to negotiate with Republicans in any fashion until the U.S. House passes a “clean” continuing resolution to fully fund the government and Obamacare.
That was evident late Tuesday when House Democrats killed a GOP bill aimed at reopening small slices of the federal establishment, including the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Park Service and a portion of the Washington, D.C., government funded with local tax revenue.
After a Tuesday strategy session, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) said if Democrats are “really concerned about funding the VA, let’s fund it.”
However, Democrats generally opposed all three, saying Republicans shouldn’t be permitted to choose which agencies remain open and which stay shut. As a result, all fell well short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage.
The White House also issued veto threats against the bills, drawing a jab from Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner. Obama “can’t continue to complain about the impact of the government shutdown on veterans, visitors at National Parks, and D.C. while vetoing bills to help them,” he said.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) blasted House Democrats for killing a bill to “allow elderly, disabled WW2 vets to visit the WW2 Memorial.”
“Democrats are on a rampage,” he wrote on Twitter, later adding that “President Stompy Feet told Democrats to kill veterans funding.”
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said in a statement that it is “reckless and shameful that President Obama and House Democrats are putting Obamacare ahead of the interests’ of our nation’s brave veterans, and of school children and families across the country who wish to visit our rich National Parks and museums.”
“House Republicans will continue to work in the interest of the American people, and the President and Democrats should stop holding our nation hostage to their demands for their own special exemption from Obamacare, and their shameful desire to impose health care mandates on American citizens but not big businesses,” she added.
Several House Democrats used the occasion to seek a vote on a standalone spending bill, a measure that Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Connecticut said would “end the tea party shutdown.” The requests were ruled out of order.
Republican aides said all three bills that were sidetracked could be brought up again on Wednesday under rules requiring a mere majority to pass. They said the House might also vote on a measure to reopen the hospital at the NIH, after several Democrats cited the impact on patients.
“They’ve shut down the government over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions of Americans,” Obama said of Republicans in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday.
Pending a miracle, the partial government shutdown will stretch into its second day on Wednesday.