House Republicans might have a third bill in the works to avert a government shutdown at midnight on Monday, but it would still mess with Obamacare and the details remain hazy, as the clock ticks.
GOP lawakers already passed - two weeks ago - a measure to keep the government open until Dec. 15 but permanently defund Obamacare right before its health insurance exchanges are slated to open on Tuesday.
After the Senate approved an amended bill that protected the 2010 Affordable Care Act, House Republicans cleared two measures in the early hours of Sunday morning that would keep the government open but delay Obamacare for a year and eliminate its tax on medical devices.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) plans to block that measure.
So House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) claimed Sunday his conference already has a Plan C in the works.
"The House will get back together in enough time, send another provision, not to shut the govenrment down but to fund it, and it will have a few other options in there for the Senate to look at again," McCarthy said on "Fox News Sunday."
McCarthy said the measure "will reflect the House, that I believe the Senate can accept, that will have fundamental changes into Obamacare that can protect the economy of America."
SHIFTING THE BLAME
The Sunday morning chat shows also reflected a GOP conference that is trying to shift the blame to President Obama and Senate Democrats ahead of the potential shutdown. Reid has labeled them as "anarchists." The White House has portrayed the GOP as willing to take the economy hostage, portraying them as irrational.
Republican lawmakers emphasized that the president should be blamed for the closure of federal facilities, since he refused to accept their terms for a temporary extension of government financing, instead of a full-year budget or a lasting increase in the debt ceiling.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA, pictured above) told CNN's "State of the Union" that Democrats are the "ones who are playing games."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) - who helped instigate this fight in the House and tried unsuccessfully to strong-arm the Senate into gutting Obamacare - portrayed the Democrats as ideological extremists, a label that is usually associated with his Tea Party base.
"Harry Reid has to move off his absolutist position," Cruz said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) said that the House had already compromised by passing a second measure that would delay Obamacare for a year, rather than killing it outright.
"I don't think that's an unreasonable thing for us to be asking," Labrador told "Meet the Press." "They're not even willing to meet with us halfway."