The US House of Representatives has brought the federal government closer to a shutdown as it voted to delay President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law for a year as part of an emergency spending bill.
There is now less than 48 hours to avert a shutdown, which will begin on Tuesday if no spending bill is passed.
The Senate is not due to meet again until Monday afternoon.
In a statement issued on Sunday, US Senate Majority leader Harry Reid said that “after weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one”.
He added that Republican efforts to change the bill – that would delay the healthcare law for a year and repeal a tax on medical devices – were pointless.
At 11:59pm local time on Monday (03:59 GMT on Tuesday), the US government technically runs out of money to fund many of its programmes in the new fiscal year that starts on Tuesday, unless Congress can agree on a funding bill.
If Congress cannot come to a compromise by midnight on Monday, as many as 800,000 federal workers would be furloughed as part of a partial government shutdown.
- House of Representatives Vote to Delay Health Care Law, U.S. Nearing Brink of Shutdown (scharleme.wordpress.com)
- Capitol building eerily quiet as government shutdown nears (onenewspage.us)
- US government on verge of shutdown as House votes to delay health law (theguardian.com)
- House delays Obamacare as shutdown nears (rinf.com)