As the government shutdown fiasco continued Monday, Capitol Hill Democrats and some Republicans embraced increasingly harsh language to describe the tactics used by GOP conservatives attempting to defund Obamacare in return for passage of a government funding bill.
Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) called conservative members of his Party in the House “lemmings with suicide vests” for their efforts to throttle funding for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
They have to be more than just a lemming. Because jumping to your death is not enough,” he said.
“You have this group saying somehow if you’re not with them, you’re with Obamcare. If you’re not with their plan — exactly what they want to do, you’re with Obamcare. It’s getting a little old,” he said.
Senator Harry Reid (D-Calif.) told reporters Monday that the Senate would not allow a short-term, one-week continuing resolution to be passed in order to give lawmakers more time to come to an agreement because it would be akin to running the government like that of a banana republic.
“If we can’t pass this, we’re only truly entering a banana republican mindset,” Reid said at a press conference after the Senate tabled the House’s continuing resolution postponing the ACA for one year.
The Senate sent the House a “clean” continuing resolution without the language to postpone Obamacare. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that he would not allow a vote on that bill.
“This is what we look at other countries doing,” Reid said. “The United States, we’re going to be funding the government for a week, ten days at a time — not so good.”
Reid also called GOP lawmakers “bullies” who should “get a life.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney used a number of rhetorical tactics to attack conservatives Monday— at one point, even accusing the lawmakers of extortion.
The press secretary also regurgitated Democratic assertions that anti-Obamacare Republicans are simply mean-spirited people who would like to see millions of Americans suffer.
“One might surmise that the extreme agita that you see among Republicans right now over the Affordable Care Act and Obamacare is a direct result of the fact that, beginning tomorrow, there is a concrete development that means that millions of Americans for the first time will be able to sign up for that health insurance,” Carney said.
And President Barack Obama added his two cents Monday evening, a mere seven hours before the possible shutdown would take effect accusing conservatives of being at the “height of irresponsibility.”
“One faction of one party, in one house of Congress, in one branch of government, doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to refight an election,” Obama said.
“My hope and expectation is that in the 11th hour once again that Congress will choose to do the right thing,” the President concluded.