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Morning Examiner: Time is not on Obamacare defunders' side

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Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Morning Examiner,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Senate,House of Representatives,Senate Minority Leader,Senate Republican Conference,Senate Democratic Conference,Mitch McConnell,Rand Paul,Ted Cruz,Syria

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., may have pronounced the House continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare "dead on arrival in the Senate," but, unfortunately for conservatives who want to use the CR as a vehicle for defunding Obamacare, everything in the Senate, even summary executions, take time.

Republican leadership pre-surrenders

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, both signaled they would not stand with Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, instead announcing that they would vote with Democrats to allow Reid to proceed to his amendment restoring Obamacare funding to the House CR.

It was always doubtful whether or not Cruz and Lee could keep all 44 Republicans firm against putting the Obamacare funding back in the CR. Moderate GOP senators like Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, John McCain, R-Ariz., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., were always likely to side with Democrats.

But the early surrender from leadership, before a single vote was taken, was surprising.

The clock is ticking

But even though the ultimate outcome is a foregone conclusion, it still takes time for the Senate to move procedurally. Reid first has to win a vote to begin debate on the bill, and that will not happen till Wednesday.

Next, Reid has to file a cloture motion to end debate, and that motion has to take two days to ripen. The cloture vote will follow sometime on Saturday, and only then can Reid offer his amendment adding Obamacare funding back to the CR. That means final passage won't happen until Sunday.

What will the House do?

If Reid sticks to this schedule, then the House will have less than 48 hours to either pass the new Senate CR, with Obamacare funding back in the measure, or shutdown the federal government.

Early indications are that House leadership will pass the Senate bill and move to the debt limit debate, which is where House leadership always wanted to fight Obamacare anyway.

The Washington Examiner's David Drucker reports that House leaders will unveil legislation Wednesday that raises the debt limit. Reportedly, it will include a full year's delay in implementing Obamacare, as well as an assortment of other grab bag options (like approving the Keystone pipeline), that Obama can choose from, in exchange for raising the debt limit.

"There’s more leverage on the debt ceiling," Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who is also chairman of the Republican Study Committee, told the Washington Examiner.

So the fight to defund Obamacare through the CR is nearing an end, but the fight to delay Obamacare through the debt limit is just beginning.

From The Washington Examiner

Editorial: Obama believes his own baloney

Charlie Spiering: Cruz says clubby professional politicians in Washington fear change

Ashe Schow: Rand Paul open to compromise on Obamacare

Byron York: GOP flinches at Obamacare plan devised by Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee

Susan Ferrechio: Senate Republican leaders won't back Tea Party's Obamacare defund strategy

David Drucker: House GOP leaders may delay Obamacare fight until debt ceiling talks

Sean Higgins: Republicans warn administration on Obamacare 'fix' for unions

Joel Gehrke: House investigator Darrell Issa wonders why Lois Lerner resigned from IRS if she did nothing wrong

Conn Carroll: The New York Times discovers health care access shock

Tim Carney: Amid federal growth, the other Virginia is not doing well

Rebecca Berg: Paul Ryan skips Iowa governor's fundraiser for trip to Georgia

In Other News

The New York Times: Vote for Merkel Seen as Victory for Austerity

McClatchy Newspapers: Kerry to meet Iran's foreign minister at UN in first face-to-face talks since 1979

The Washington Post: McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli in Virginia governor's race

Pew: Blame for Both Sides as Possible Government Shutdown Approaches

Gallup: Americans' Belief That Gov't Is Too Powerful at Record Level

Politico: Nancy Pelosi plans to introduce immigration reform bill

RedState.com: Cruz missile exposes Republican leaders on Obamacare repeal

Lefty Playbook

Think Progress: Sorry, The Latest Anti-Obamacare Article To Go Viral Is Totally Wrong

Jonathan Bernstein: The Day after Shutdown

Sahil Kapur: How Conservatives Win In The Government Shutdown Fight Anyway

Righty Playbook

Chris Conover: Obamacare Will Increase Health Spending By $7,450 For A Typical Family of Four

Reihan Salam: What Paul Krugman Misses About the Medicaid Model

Glenn Reynolds: Obama selfish, stubborn on health care

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