Getting to that point would require agreement from a group of conservative Republicans who have often acted in discord with the rest of their conference. It would also require them to drop objections to defunding the healthcare law or delay the law’s full implementation for a year. People can begin signing up for insurance coverage under the law starting today.
Republican Representative Pat Tiberi, a close ally of Boehner’s, said House Republicans believe they have already compromised by backing away from their demand that the healthcare law be defunded. Members of a large and powerful bloc of conservatives said they would not vote for any further government spending unless the healthcare law was gutted. The speaker talked them back to a one-year delay.
“Harry Reid likes to excoriate the Tea Party members of our conference for not compromising, when he’s doing the exact same thing,” Tiberi said.
Durbin said Reid’s resolve not to compromise has been helped by the shenanigans in the House, what he views as game-playing in the Senate by hardliners like Ted Cruz, a Republican, and a sense that now is the time to break the power of Tea Party Republicans.
“This is what he believes,” Durbin said of Reid. “He’s sick and tired of the Tea Party caucus.”
There are many Republicans who are convinced that the public would not automatically blame them for a shutdown, and they sought over the weekend to make the case that Obama and Reid were slowing down the process to score political points.
They seized on a pair of images they hoped would resonate with the public: Obama playing golf on Saturday and Reid keeping the Senate dark until yesterday.
Boehner called Reid’s move “an act of breathtaking arrogance.”