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(Update Senate Majority leader Harry Reid confirmed our suspicions. "Today's vote by House Republicans is pointless," he said. Reid went on to clarify that the Senate will reject both the Obamacare delay and the medical device tax, saying the House and Senate "are still at square one." Reid said the House must accept the Senate's CR, "or force a Republican government shutdown.")

At this point, a government shutdown on Tuesday is close to a sure thing. Well, until Tuesday, when the government does shut down and everyone spends their time criticizing the House and watching that one episode of The West Wing

The House will, eventually, vote on a bill to continue funding the government beyond October 1 in an effort to avert a shutdown. Hashed out in a set of rare Saturday meetings among House Republicans, fuelled by Qdoba, that bill, called a continuing resolution (or CR, if you're hip to the lingo), will include some caveats. Per Politico's Josh Breshanan and Jake Sherman and the National Review's Jonathan Strong and Andrew Stiles, the GOP's terms for averting a government shutdown:

  • Obamacare is delayed for an entire year.
  • The medical device tax is repealed.
  • A bill is passed that would ensure troops continue receiving pay in the event of a shutdown. 

On Friday, the Senate passed a bill to avert a shutdown that didn't include any Obamacare measures. Senate majority leader Harry Reid and President Obama have said they will not support any continuing resolution that involves Obamacare concessions. That means, in the simplest terms, that we're definitely heading for the first government shutdown since 1995: 

You can follow The Atlantic Wire's official countdown clock here

This move, doomed to fail, is entirely the work of the Republican's party's new splinter group, led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and his devout followers, that is infuriating the Republican party's established leadership. In a testy exchange with a reporter on Saturday, Rep. Darrell Issa unloaded some of his frustration on a reporter: 

The effort to force a government shutdown also seems to be driving Speaker of the House John Boehner, the group's biggest adversary not named Obama, towards madness. Or, at least, he seems strangely serene in the face of party discord and looming legislative chaos: 

But no one is getting more attention than Texas Rep. John Culberson, who apparently views the House's foolhardy attempt to avoid a shutdown and eliminate Obamacare as analogous to the Americans who fought back against the terrorists on United Flight 93:

"Let's roll," were the last words Todd Beamer spoke to a telephone dispatcher before fighting off hijackers who directed United 93 off course, towards Washington, on September 11. It was a rallying cry and, just, what. This really doesn't work: 

Sure, why not. Anything is possible. 

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