The Corner

House GOP Mulls CR with Vitter Amendment

House Republican insiders acknowledge a shutdown is increasingly likely, due to House conservatives’ aversion to passing a “clean” continuing resolution that simply funds the government. But the leadership isn’t ready to concede defeat. Behind the scenes, Speaker John Boehner and his allies are finalizing their strategy for the eleventh hour: a last-minute CR play.

Here’s how it could unfold, according to sources familiar with the leadership’s closed-door deliberations.

First, the House passes a CR today that delays Obamacare’s implementation for one year and repeals the medical-device tax. This legislation will almost certainly die a quick death in the Senate.

Should that happen, the House will send another bill back. The leadership is mulling several options. At the top of the list is a revised CR that includes the Vitter amendment, authored by Senator David Vitter (R., La.), which would eliminate Obamacare subsidies for congressional staffers and members.

The leadership thinks that a final CR with Vitter’s language would put them on solid political ground, even if Senate Democrats resist. In that scenario, and the government shut down, Republicans would argue that Democrats shut down the government to protect their perks.

The leadership also believes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would feel pressure to take up such legislation, especially from red-state Democrats who are up for reelection next year.

But that’s just one of the options being bandied about at the Capitol. For the moment, House leadership is more focused on keeping Republicans united, should things get wild in the coming days. The conference’s unity is fragile, and any new plan will need to be unveiled carefully.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

FBI Lovebirds Is D.C. Satire at Its Best

What do you get when you take Dean Cain, an actor famous for playing Superman on TV, and Kristy Swanson, the actress who was the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and give them the chance to play a couple of adulterous, wildly partisan FBI agents working at the highest levels of the Mueller Russiagate ... Read More
Film & TV

In Toy Story 4, the Franchise Shows Its Age

For a film franchise, 24 years is middle-aged, bordering on elderly. Nearly a quarter-century after the first Toy Story, the fourth installment, which hits theaters later this week, feels a bit tired. If earlier films in the franchise were about loss and abandonment and saying goodbye to childhood, this one is ... Read More