Congress moves closer to shutdown

Washington — Congress moved closer toward a government shutdown Saturday as House Republicans planned to vote on a temporary spending bill that would postpone implementation of the Affordable Care Act for a year, something neither the Senate nor the White House will accept.

In the latest chapter of the partisan standoff, the Republican-led House rejected a continuing resolution from the Senate that would prevent a government shutdown at midnight on Monday because it did not contain a measure that would scuttle the health care law popularly called “Obamacare.”

The House was expected to vote on its alternative late Saturday. Besides postponing Obamacare for a year, the continuing resolution would eliminate a new tax on medical devices that is in the ACA and require the federal government to pay military personnel if there is a government shutdown.

If the House bill is approved, it would go back to the Senate, which returns to work Monday afternoon.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax.

“After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one,” Reid said. “Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate’s clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown.”