Cassidy, Vitter to vote against shutdown deal
WASHINGTON - Louisiana GOP Congressman Bill Cassidy and Senator David Vitter said today they both plan to oppose a Senate deal to reopen the government and extend the debt ceiling.
Both Vitter and Cassidy said the deal didn't address long-term government debt and deficits, and didn't end a provision to continue federal health care subsidies for lawmakers and their staff under the Affordable Care Act.
The subsidies, which already pay for around 75 percent of lawmakers' premiums, were left out of the health care reform legislation and would have disappeared when lawmakers and their staff bought insurance through the new Marketplaces, which they are required to do.
In August, the Office of Personnel Management issued new rules which allowed lawmakers to keep their current taxpayer-provided subsidies and determine which of their staffers were also eligible to receive them.
Speaker John Boehner and other top House Republican leaders intend to vote for the bipartisan agreement, according to officials who spoke anonymously to the Associated Press. They said the leaders made their intentions clear at a closed-door meeting of rank and file Republicans.
A Senate vote the deal is coming just hours ahead of the midnight debt ceiling deadline, when the government will no longer be able to borrow money to pay its debts. The deal would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and increase the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7.