The House will pass a CR the Senate will reject.
The Senate will pass a CR the House won’t like. (“It’s no state secret that the House bill is doomed in the Senate,” notes Politico’s Burgess Everett, a view shared by every Hill observer.)
Will the House volley back with CR 2.0 that still defunds Obamacare with a shutdown of all but critical services looming, or will Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid appoint a group of veterans of both chambers to meet and agree on a middle ground?
It is really absurd to worry about the impact of this debate and negotiation on next year’s elections, which will be molded by many intervening events, but the House GOP needs a list of objectives beyond defunding Obamacare if it is to have a chance of emerging empty-handed. Among those objectives: repair of the damage done to the military by the sequester; controls on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that will end its data mining, repeal of the medical device tax, reform of the exploding food stamp entitlement. If Senate conservatives cannot stop their chamber from funding Obamacare, the House can’t be expected to triumph but it can be expected to gain some of the objectives of the conservative party in a divided Washington, D.C.
The Senate debate though, that could be worth the set-up, if Senators Cruz, Lee, Paul and Rubio lead their colleagues in a long tutorial via filibuster of the disaster that is Obamacare. If the House action sets up a Senate teach-in on the ongoing collapse of the American health care system (and of the 40 hour work week) that is coming about because of Obamacare, accompanied by charts and blow-ups of exhibits like the AFL-CIO’s resolution condemning Obamacare last week, with a healthy does of focus on the terrible cuts on the military and a sidebar on the Syrian debacle, the House action will have been well worth it, whatever the final outcome.
A key moment is coming up next week. The Senate GOP has to seize it and yield the floor to their rhetorically gifted colleagues.