The House capped off a wild week late Saturday and approved a spending plan that would delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, setting the stage for a possible government shutdown beginning October 1. NY1 Washington Bureau reporter Michael Scotto filed the following report.
The anger in Washington is palpable these days. On the floor of the House, screaming erupted as Congressman Eliot Engel accused Republicans of wanting to shut down the government.
"You can yell all you want, but you're not silencing the voice," Engel said.
In the end, the House approved a government spending plan that would delay Obamacare for a year and scrap a tax that helps fund the law.
New York Congressmen Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna were the only two Republicans to oppose the delay.
The vote happened one day after the Senate passed a funding plan that would keep the Affordable Care Act intact.
"Right now the media wants to paint it as Republicans are completely unreasonable, and there are some that are, I agree with that. But to say if we don't acquiesce to everything Democrats want, we're the unreasonable ones. I don't buy that," said Rep. Michael Grimm.
The move means the government will almost certainly shut down next week, for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the Republican vote pointless and the White House promised a veto if it came to the president.
"They know it's not going to be accepted and they really, in a sense, are calling for a shutdown," said Rep. Charles Rangel.
Democrats did go along with a Republican measure that would pay military members during a government shutdown.
"Obviously we need to keep paying our men and women in uniform, but that really misses the point that we really shouldn't be shutting down the government period," said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney.
The vote underscores the power of the tea party caucus, which all but forced House Speaker John Boehner to take this route, even though he knew Democrats would never go along with it.
Even Republicans who supported the bill fear it emboldens the far right of their party.
"If this part of a process fine, I'll vote for it. If we do, we just allow people to hijack our party and the government," said Rep. Peter King.
The Senate is not scheduled to return until Monday, when it will likely reject the House's plan.
Shutdown's Impact Would Be Felt Locally
In the event of a shutdown, some parts of the government would feel the pinch right away, starting with the military.
Nearly a million and a half active duty personnel would have their paychecks delayed, including those serving overseas.
Close to 400,000 civilian contractors would be furloughed immediately.
Veterans Affairs services would stay open.
Air traffic controllers would remain on the job.
The TSA and the Department of Homeland Security would remain open.
The State Department would continue to process visa and passport applications, and immigration services would continue to handle green card applications.
Federal courts would continue normal operations for 10 days. After that, they would start to furlough non-essential staff.
The Justice Department would keep prosecuting criminal cases.
Social Security and Medicare checks would still go out as would unemployment checks.
Food stamps and school breakfast and lunch would be unaffected.
The Food and Drug Administration would suspend routine safety inspections, except for the highest-risk cases.
The Centers for Disease Control would have to drastically scale back their ability to investigate outbreaks, including the flu virus.
All national parks would close, including the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
The U.S. Postal Service would continue day to day mail delivery.