House Speaker John Boehner accused Senate Democrats of "breathtaking arrogance" for not immediately taking up a spending measure passed by the House early Sunday that would keep the government open, but delay Obamacare for a year.
The Senate passed a similar measure Friday, but stripped it of the Obamacare defunding clauses imposed by the House last week.
Senate Democrats already vowed to quash the measure in Monday's scheduled floor session.
The result is a game of "who blinks first."
Senate Democrats say they plan to again pass a government spending bill Monday without Obamacare clauses, leaving House Republicans to either compromise or allow the US government to shut down for the first time since 1996.
GOP leaders tried to point the fingers at others in interviews Sunday, claiming a shutdown wouldn't be their fault.
“If we have a shutdown, it will be because Harry Reid holds that absolutist position and essentially holds the American people hostage,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “He says, ‘I’m not willing to compromise, I’m not willing to even talk. His position is 100 percent of Obamacare must be funded in all instances. Other than that, he’s going to shut the government down.”
Cruz spent 21 hours deriding Obamacare in a talk-a-thon on the Senate floor last week that drew headlines worldwide.
He and other conservatives declined to say Sunday whether they would continue to obstruct efforts to keep the government running.
The current standoff is a harbinger of a far-more consequential battle to raise the US government's debt ceiling by $16.7 trillion. Failure to do so by mid-October would force the United States to default on some payment obligations — possibly crippling its economy and sending shockwaves around the globe.