Washington (CNN) — Second or third or fourth verse, same as the first.
A stalemate in Congress that caused the government shutdown Tuesday continued with Senate Democrats voting for a fourth time to reject a spending plan by House Republicans that sought to undermine Obamacare.
This time, the House proposal also included a call for a conference committee to seek a compromise, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats turned the package down because it amounted to extortion by Republicans to force concessions on President Barack Obama’s signature health care reforms.
Reid said the Senate wants to negotiate a budget with the House, “but not with the government closed.”
“We’re not going to relitigate the health care issue,” Reid said after the latest Senate vote, calling for the House approve a “clean” spending plan to fund the government for a few months before separate negotiations on possible changes to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. “It’s time for Republicans to stop obsessing over old battles.”
A game of political chicken ended in failure in the first minutes of Tuesday, when neither side blinked, leading to the outcome nobody wanted — a shutdown that will stop 800,000 Americans from getting paid and could cost the economy about $1 billion a week.