With US shutdown more likely, the blame game begins

With US shutdown more likely, the blame game begins

WASHINGTON - A tumultuous US House votes late Saturday on a Republican plan that keeps government open but is unlikely to pass the Senate, leading lawmakers to bicker over who is responsible for a likely shutdown.

Barely two days before a shutdown deadline, Republican leaders set off a political firestorm when they announced that their stopgap federal spending bill also aims to delay implementation of President Barack Obama's health care law by one year.

The move prompted a sharp rebuke from the White House, which warned it was a step toward shuttering federal agencies once the fiscal year ends Monday night, and vowed to veto any such bill.

House Speaker John Boehner convened a rare Saturday session as Congress struggles to break a funding impasse that, if unresolved, would require hundreds of thousands of federal workers to stay home.

In addition, more than a million US military personnel would remain on duty - but with no pay.

Under pressure from his party's far-right conservative wing, Boehner doubled down on his caucus's bid to stop Obama's signature domestic achievement, the health care law, vowing to send a bill back to the Senate but with little time for legislative action to avoid a shutdown.

"We will do our job and send this bill over, and then it's up to the Senate to pass it and stop a government shutdown," Boehner said.

The House had earlier passed a temporary budget bill known as a continuing resolution that included a provision defunding so-called Obamacare altogether.

The Democratic-led Senate stripped that part out and sent a clean budget back to the House.

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