By Brian Tumulty, Gannett Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - New York Reps. Richard Hanna of Oneida County and Chris Gibson of Kinderhook were the only two Republicans in the House who opposed legislation passed early Sunday that links the continued operation of federal agencies on adoption of GOP policy riders.
The legislation is conditioned on a one year delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the repeal of a tax on medical devices and a "conscience provision'' that allow employers to not cover contraceptive coverage for women in their health plans.
The bill, which passed 231-192, allows federal agencies to operate through Dec. 15 at the same annualized level of $986 billion in discretionary spending as the 2013 sequester.
The 2014 fiscal year begins Tuesday.
The Senate voted 54-44 on Friday for a stopgap funding bill that would be one month shorter - until Nov. 15 - and stripped out an earlier House policy rider that would have defunded the health insurance reform law.
The House legislation passed early Sunday does not defund the health care law, but delays the requirement for uninsured individuals to enroll in health insurance plans for a year until January 2015.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and President Obama have said they will not accept the GOP policy riders. Obama has issued a veto threat.
Gibson said he voted against the so-called Continuing Resolution because "the Senate will reject this CR and we'll be back to square one on Monday, increasing the likelihood of a government shutdown - which I oppose.''
"From my perspective, the desired end state remains the same - a delay of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare and a temporary lifting of the sequester -- both to January 2015,'' Gibson said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. "However, we need a successful strategy to get that implemented and this approach will not do it. What we should do instead is take the Senate CR and add a simple amendment - overturning the Obama administration's recent rule providing health care insurance subsidies for members of Congress and their staff.''
Hanna also posted an explanation of his vote on his official Facebook page.
"I continue to support repealing and replacing Obamacare with reforms that actually reduce health care costs and increase coverage for upstate New Yorkers,'' Hanna said. "But as a lifelong and consistent supporter of women's rights and health care, I do not support addressing divisive social issues such as access to birth control on a last-minute continuing resolution.''
Only two Democrats joined most Republicans the House vote held shortly after midnight following a daylong debate within the ranks of House Republicans whether to challenge the pledge by the Senate's Democratic majority to reject policy riders.
With the new 2014 fiscal year starting Tuesday, a partial government shutdown is likely.
The House voted unanimously to exempt military pay from the furloughs that will result from the shutdown, but that measure also requires Senate passage.
New York Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said he supports the Republican policy riders because they would "treat Americans fairly and delay Obamacare for one year.''
"The president already said his health care law isn't good enough for big business by giving businesses a one year delay,'' Reed said. "Extending that delay to all American families is the fair thing to do.'' Reed also supports repeal of the medical device tax, which he described as "one of the most damaging aspects of Obamacare.''
During Saturday's floor debate leading up to the House vote, New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-Fairport, accused Republicans of "legislative malpractice.''
New York Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison, blamed House Republican leaders for allowing their party's most conservative wing to control the agenda.
"It is a sad commentary on the state of the Republican majority that its leaders are powerless to contain the most extreme voices clamoring for a path we know will disrupt the economy, kill jobs, and stunt growth,'' Lowey said.