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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Monday, September 30, 2013
GOP leader asks: Where's the Senate?
By Julian Pecquet
House Republicans' fourth-ranking member put the blame for the looming government shutdown squarely on Senate Democrats on Sunday.
Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Wash.), the chairwoman of the Republican Conference, said the House was in session past midnight to vote on a spending bill that delays President Obama's healthcare law. The Senate is not scheduled to come back to vote on the measure until Monday.
“This is unacceptable that [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said 'oh, we're not even going to come back today,' ” McMorris-Rodgers told CNN's "State of the Union." “Oct. 1 is right around the corner. Why isn't the Senate here?”
Senate Democrats and President Obama have said the healthcare law delay is unacceptable, all but ensuring a government shutdown starting Tuesday.
McMorris-Rodgers said Republicans have a duty to delay the law, arguing that it's not ready for prime-time and that people are “panicked.” She refused to get trapped into saying whether delaying the law is worth a shutdown, however, sticking to the GOP line that Senate Democrats “are the ones threatening a shutdown.”
“They need to have this debate in the Senate,” she said. “People are panicked in this country over higher premiums, lack of access.
“It's really up to the Senate. The Senate needs to act, they need to act quickly.”