The House Republicans held a news conference on the steps of the Senate side of the Capitol Sunday evening where GOP lawmakers sought to fix blame for a shutdown on the Democratically-controlled Senate.
"This is the old football strategy," Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas said while holding a football. "When you get to where you want to be in a football game, you run out the clock."
And Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, was more blunt. The GOP lawmaker said Obama wants a shutdown, and she had a message for her colleagues in the upper chamber. "Senate, get on back to town," she said.
Democrat on House GOP: 'These people have come unhinged'
On the Democratic side, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida continued to insist that Republicans stop their effort to link continued funding of the government or raising the debt ceiling to repealing, delaying, or modifying Obamacare.
"I hope (the current stalemate) ends with cooler heads prevailing on the Republican side of the aisle," the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee said Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.
The Florida Democrat compared the Republican strategy -- linking funds for the government with changes and delays to the health care law -- to holding the economy hostage and playing chicken with the country's economic stability.
"That's totally and wholly irresponsible," she said of the GOP's strategy.
"Would you," Wasserman Schultz added, "if you didn't like the redesign of your kitchen -- would you burn the whole house down? Or would you try to make modifications to the kitchen? These people have come unhinged."
The Democrat said that once the threat of the government shutdown was taken off the table, her party and Republicans should work together to ensure smooth implementation of Obamacare.
Going after the tax
The decision to vote late Saturday night on the House amendments modifying an earlier Senate funding bill emerged from a rare weekend GOP caucus meeting called by House Speaker John Boehner. The votes, taken after midnight Sunday, were 231-192 for the Obamacare delay, and 248-174 for the medical device tax repeal, mostly along party lines.
Two Democrats broke rank and voted for the Obamacare delay: Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Jim Matheson of Utah.
Seventeen Democrats voted for the tax repeal.
Meanwhile, a bill to guarantee pay for military personnel during any shutdown passed 423-0.
House Republicans had said they wanted to stop as much of the president's health law as possible. The medical device tax is one of the more controversial taxes in the law, with Republicans saying it sends jobs overseas.
Democrats, particularly those from states or districts with medical device manufacturers, have spoken out against the tax.
"Republicans have pointed out over and over (Saturday) that many Democrats in the Senate are already on record voting for this repeal," said Dana Bash, CNN's chief congressional correspondent. "So that's why they're trying to put Democrats there in a box."
"But we're already being told by Democratic sources in the Senate that they feel they're going to keep all of their senators in line," she said.
Before the House vote late Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called the Republican strategy "pointless" and said the Democratic-led Senate would reject the GOP alternatives. The White House said Obama would veto the House proposal if it reached his desk.
A separate White House statement said voting for the GOP measure "is voting for a shutdown."
Partisan back and forth
The back and forth over the spending plan -- called a continuing resolution in legislative jargon -- began when House Republicans stripped all funding for Obamacare from their original version and sent it to the Senate.
The Senate, where Democrats hold a slim majority, restored the funding on Friday and kicked the plan back to the House.
On Saturday, Boehner convened his caucus to forge a counteroffer to the Senate changes.