After the Senate stripped the defund Obamcare language from the House bill to fund the government by a margin of 54-44, they agreed to pass the final bill which funds funds the government through November by a margin of 54-44.
It was a show vote as Democrats voted for the bill and Republicans against it. Mitch McConnell and the Republican senators who want to run for president in 2016 (Cruz, Paul Rubio) all voted against it.
John Boehner has promised that the House will amend the Senate bill to restore the defunding of Obamacare and send it back to the Senate. This means that we are right back where we started from in this high stakes game of chicken. The country is still facing a government shutdown, and I suspect that the government will have to shutdown in order for House Republicans to be able to claim a symbolic victory because they cave to pressure from the corporate interests who fund them.
The Senate bill makes a couple of changes to the House passed bill. It removes the language that defunds Obamcare, and it changes the length of continuing resolution from December of this year to November. Democrats want the earlier date because they are hoping to get rid of the sequester cuts.
House Republicans still have the economy on course for disaster, and despite their blaming of Obama and the Democrats, the ball is totally in their court. House Republicans could end this today by passing a clean CR. If they continue to choose not to do so, they will have to live with the consequences of crashing the economy again. As Rachel Maddow has pointed out, a government shutdown would be bad for the economy. A government shutdown and a default would be a disaster.
The message sent by Senate Democrats is that Republicans aren’t going to win this one. Democrats are united, and they aren’t about to blink when faced with Republican threats of economic terrorism. If Republicans crash the economy again, it will be their fault. President Obama isn’t on the ballot next year, but House Republicans are. Once again, Republicans are failing to learn the lesson that threats to crash the economy never work.