U.S. House GOP leaders cancel recess, set healthcare vote

Sept. 18, 2013 at 7:22 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. House Republican leaders said Wednesday they canceled next week's recess to deal with budget issues and the looming potential government shutdown.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia told members the House will keep working this week, maybe even into the weekend, and be in town next week as well to try to work out a continuing resolution that will set tax-and-spending levels and avert a government shutdown Oct. 1, The Hill reported.

The Washington publication said conservatives will try to push through the GOP-controlled House a measure to defund or delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act -- commonly known as Obamacare -- a move unlikely to make any headway in the Senate, controlled by Democrats.

The Hill said a vote on a continuing resolution could come as early as Thursday in the House, but Friday was more likely.

Cantor said legislation calling for the approval of the federal tax code and approving the Keystone XL pipeline could be tied to the measure raising the federal debt ceiling.

The White House accused House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio of caving in to his party's conservative wing, which it said was waging "essentially an all-out civil war."

"What has become more and more apparent is the leaders of the Republican Party in Congress may want to avoid a shutdown ... but there are members of that party, especially in the House, who seem to embrace the prospect," press secretary Jay Carney said.

Citing two sources it did not identify, The Hill reported Boehner said during a closed-door meeting with GOP House members he knows even some Republican lawmakers are critical of him.

"I just let that [expletive] roll off my back," the sources quoted him as saying.

"Every member in this room is for defunding Obamacare while letting the rest of the government continue to operate," Boehner was quoted as saying. "We're going to put Obamacare defunding directly into the CR. And then we're going to send it over to the Senate, so our conservative allies over there can continue the fight. That's where the fight is."

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