As Government Shutdown Nears, Lawmakers Trade Blame

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WASHINGTON — Lawmakers appeared no closer to a deal to avert a government shutdown after midnight action in the House to delay President Obama‘s healthcare law, with both parties trading accusations Sunday about who would be to blame for an impasse.

housevote632Neither the House nor Senate planned to meet Sunday, with fewer than 36 hours left to approve a new stopgap spending measure. Instead, members of Congress fanned out to the TV networks’ Sunday news shows to react to mostly party-line votes the House took overnight to again send the spending bill back to the Senate with provisions to undermine the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have insisted that such provisions be part of any deal to keep federal agencies open once the new budget year begins Tuesday.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has assumed a lead role among conservatives in pursuing the “defund or delay” strategy, repeatedly argued Sunday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) now stands in the way of a resolution.

Cruz accused Reid of using “brute political force” to resist any changes in the healthcare law, which Cruz described as the “biggest job-killer in this country.”

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