U.S. Shutdown Nears as House Votes to Delay Health Law
WASHINGTON — The federal government on Sunday morning barreled toward its first shutdown in 17 years after the Republican-run House, choosing a hard line, voted to attach a one-year delay of President Obama’s health care law and a repeal of a tax to pay for it to  legislation to keep the government running.
The votes, just past midnight, followed an often-angry debate, with members shouting one another down on the House floor. Democrats insisted that Republicans refused to accept their losses in 2012, were putting contempt for the president over the good of the country and would bear responsibility for a shutdown. Republicans said they had the public on their side and were acting to protect Americans from a harmful and unpopular law that had already proved a failure.
The House first voted 248-174 to repeal a tax on medical devices, then voted 231-192 to delay the law’s implementation by a year — just days before the uninsured begin enrolling in the law’s insurance exchanges. The delay included a provision favored by social conservatives that would allow employers and health care providers to opt out of mandatory contraception coverage.
But before the House had even voted, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, declared the House bill dead. Senate Democrats are planning to table the Republican  measures when they  convene on Monday, leaving the House just hours to pass a stand-alone spending bill free of any measures that undermine the health care law.
The House’s votes early Sundayall but assured that large parts of the government would be shuttered as of 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday. More than 800,000 federal workers deemed nonessential faced furloughs; millions more could be working without paychecks.
“The American people don’t want a government shutdown, and they don’t want Obamacare,” House Republican leaders said in a statement. “We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it’s up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown.”
A separate House Republican bill passed unanimously Sunday morning to ensure that military personnel continued to be paid in the event of a government shutdown, an acknowledgment that a shutdown is likely. En route to South Korea, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was unimpressed, excoriating his former Republican colleagues in Congress.
“This is an astoundingly irresponsible way to  govern,” Mr. Hagel said, adding that a fully functioning military went beyond its uniformed forces to its civilian personnel. “If this continues, we will have a country that is ungovernable.”
Representative Darrell Issa, a powerful Republican committee chairman who is close to the leadership but has sided with those who want to gut the health care law, flashed anger when asked what would happen when the Senate rejected the House’s offer.
“How dare you presume a failure?” he snapped. “We continue to believe there’s an opportunity for sensible compromise, and I will not accept from anybody the assumption of failure.”
But Mr. Reid made it clear that failure was inevitable. “After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at Square 1,” he said. “We continue to be willing to debate these issues in a calm and rational atmosphere. But the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party  anarchists.”
The White House was just as  blunt. “Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown,” the press secretary, Jay Carney, said in a written statement. The White House also said that the president would veto the House bill if approved by the Senate.
In fact, many House Republicans acknowledged that they expected the Senate to reject the House’s provisions, making a shutdown all but assured. House Republicans were warned repeatedly that Senate Democrats would not accept any changes to the health care law.
Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio faced a critical decision this weekend: Accept a bill passed by the Senate on Friday to keep the government financed and the health care law intact and risk a conservative  revolt that could threaten his speakership, or make one more effort to undermine the president’s signature domestic initiative and hope that a shutdown would not do serious political harm to his party.
With no guarantee that Democrats would help him, he chose the shutdown option. The House’s unruly conservatives had more than enough votes to defeat a spending bill that would not do significant damage to the health care law, unless Democrats were willing to bail out the speaker. And Democrats showed little inclination to alleviate the Republicans’ intraparty warfare.
“The federal government has shut down 17 times before, sometimes when the Democrats were in control, sometimes with divided government,” said Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina. “What are we doing on our side of the aisle? We’re fighting for the American people.”
Veteran House Republicans say there is still one plausible way to avoid a shutdown. The Senate could take up the House spending bill, strip out the one-year health care delay and accept the 2.3-percent medical device tax repeal as a face-saving victory for Republicans. The tax, worth $30 billion over 10 years, has ardent opponents among Democrats as well. Its repeal would not prevent the law from going into effect. Consumers can begin signing up for insurance plans under the law beginning on Tuesday.
Mr. Reid has already said he would not accept even that measure as a condition to keep the government operating. Special parliamentary language in the House measure provided for rapid action Monday in the Senate that would once again most likely leave House Republican leaders with the option of approving a spending bill without policy prescriptions. But there was little indication they would accept it.
“By pandering to the Tea Party minority and trying to delay the benefits of health care reform for millions of seniors and families, House Republicans are now actively pushing for a completely unnecessary government shutdown,” said Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the Democrat who leads the Budget Committee.
As provocative as it was, the move by House Republicans was an expression of their most basic political goal since they took control in 2010: doing what they can to derail the biggest legislative achievement of Mr. Obama’s presidency.
As a debate inside the party raged over whether it was politically wise to demand delay or defunding of the act, many Republicans argued that they should fight as hard as they could because that is what their constituents were expecting. “This is exactly what the public wants,” Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota said.
The mood in the Capitol on Saturday, at least among Republicans, was downright giddy. When Republican leaders presented their plan in a closed-door meeting on Saturday, cheers and chants of “Vote, vote, vote!” went up. As members left the meeting, many wore beaming grins.
shutdown:(공장・사업체 등의) 폐쇄 < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
House :의회[상・하원] (의원들)
 barrel: 질주하다/무서운 속도로 달리다
choose a hard line: 강경책을 취하다
legislation: (의회에서 통과되는) 제정법/ 법안
over the good of ..: ..의 이익/혜택보다 우선시하여/선호하여
have --on one's side: ..가 ...의 편을 들다 (= the public will support them)
 the uninsured: 보험에 들지 않은 사람들
 enroll in: ... 에 등록하다
 provision:(법률 관련 문서의) 조항[규정/단서]
 opt out of (단체)에서 탈퇴하다, 손을 떼다
 contraception coverage 피임약에 대한 건강보험
 table : 연기하다
 measure: 특정 목적을 달성하기 위한) 조치/정책
 convene: [의회•위원회 등이] 모이다. [회의•위원•회원 등을] 소집하다;
 spending bill: 지출법안
 undermine: ..을 약화시키다 ( with law) 법을 망가뜨리다
 all but: 거의
 deem ..라고 생각하다/여기다
 furlough: 휴가
 be up to: ... 에 달려있다
 excoriate: 혹평/비난하다 (= to criticize)
 govern: 통치하다
 side with... 의 편을 들다
 gut: .. 을 파괴하다 (= to destroy)
 futile:헛된(= unsuccessful)
 be at square 1: 여태까지 해왔던 모든 것을 잃고 처음의 상태로 되돌아 가다 (you've lost all the progress you had gained and you're now back at the beginning)
 Tea Party : 극단적인 보수주위 공화당원
 intact: 손대지 않은/ 온전한
 speakership: 의장의 직[임기]
 signature: 특유의/특징적인/상징적인 ( that which is most closely associated with someone or that which they are best known for)
 initiative:(특정한 문제 해결・목적 달성을 위한 새로운) 계획
defeat:무효로 하다/효력을 상실케 하다
bail somebody out : 구제하다/곤경을 벗어나게 하다
 inclination :(…하려는) 의향[뜻]; 성향
 alleviate :..를 완하하다
intraparty warfare:정당내의 싸움
 plausible: 타당한 것 같은, 이치에 맞는, 그럴듯한
take up : 고려하다/토론하다 (= to discuss/ to consider)
 strip out: 없애다(= to remove)
 policy prescription: 정책방안
 ponder to: 영합하다/(.. 의 약점을 )이용하다
 provocative 도발적인, 자극적인
derail : [계획•협정 등을] 틀어지게[실패하게] 하다.
 defund: 재정 원조를 철회하다 /재원을 고갈시키다
 act: 법률 ; 법령, 조례
 constituent:(특정 선거구에 사는) 주민[유권자
 giddy:(너무 좋아서) 들뜬(=happy)
 beaming grins: 활짝웃음