Senate Plans to Take First Vote on Debt Deal, House to Follow

Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives at the Capitol for the day October 16, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
National Journal
Billy House
Add to Briefcase
Billy House
Oct. 16, 2013, 5:08 a.m.

Speak­er John Boehner will al­low the House to take the vote Wed­nes­day on a Sen­ate-pre­pared agree­ment to lift the debt ceil­ing and end 16 days of shuttered fed­er­al gov­ern­ment — though many of his con­ser­vat­ive House col­leagues don’t sup­port the meas­ure.

Such a move by Boehner comes as the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Thursday dead­line for hik­ing the na­tion’s $16.7 tril­lion bor­row­ing cap is less than 24 hours away. Boehner has said he would do everything he can to keep the na­tion from de­fault.

The House had been ex­pec­ted to vote pri­or to the Sen­ate on the meas­ure as a way around some of the pro­ced­ur­al hurdles that could have been put up in the Sen­ate, un­der an earli­er strategy hatched by Sen­ate and House lead­ers.

But up­dated plans are for the Sen­ate to now go first as early as Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon or early even­ing—with the House to fol­low with a vote in the even­ing.

Help­ing to smooth the way for the Sen­ate to take that ini­tial ac­tion was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who told re­port­ers Wed­nes­day that he would not at­tempt to block the meas­ure.

The 233 House Re­pub­lic­ans are ex­pec­ted to gath­er be­hind closed doors at 3 p.m. to hear their lead­er ex­plain why and how he in­tends to bring the meas­ure to the floor in that cham­ber— and where the party’s ef­forts on fisc­al is­sues might go from there.

For now, Boehner’s of­fice of­fi­cially says there is no fi­nal de­cision on a plan that would re­quire most Demo­crats to join with a couple dozen mod­er­ate and oth­er Re­pub­lic­ans to pass the bill. “No de­cision has been made about how or when a po­ten­tial Sen­ate agree­ment could be voted on in the House,” said a Boehner spokes­man, Mi­chael Steel.

But oth­er law­makers and aides say a vote will oc­cur Wed­nes­day. And Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi and her House Demo­crats are viewed as crit­ic­al to get­ting the ini­tial pas­sage of the meas­ure in the House.

“Boehner will need Pelosi votes,” said one seni­or Demo­crat­ic aide who is fa­mil­i­ar with what he de­scribed as the cross-party ne­go­ti­ations that have been oc­cur­ring Wed­nes­day morn­ing. “Demo­crats will be united,” an­oth­er seni­or Demo­crat­ic lead­er­ship aide said, in­dic­at­ing that most of the 200 House Demo­crats are on board with the plan.

The Sen­ate-pre­pared deal will al­low an ex­ten­sion of the debt lim­it un­til Feb. 7, sub­ject to a con­gres­sion­al dis­ap­prov­al pro­cess sim­il­ar to what was in­cluded in the Budget Con­trol Act of 2011. Un­der that lan­guage, if the debt in­crease is not ap­proved in both cham­bers — or is ve­toed by the pres­id­ent and is not over­rid­den — the debt lim­it would in­crease.

The meas­ure also in­cludes lan­guage to re­open gov­ern­ment un­til Jan. 15 by re­start­ing fund­ing at cur­rent levels through Jan. 15.

There also is in­cluded an agree­ment for the House and Sen­ate to go to a budget con­fer­ence, and back­pay for fur­loughed fed­er­al work­ers. The meas­ure also would re­quire what is de­scribed by seni­or Demo­crat­ic aides as “con­firm­a­tion of the ef­fect­ive­ness of ex­ist­ing in­come veri­fic­a­tion pro­cesses for those re­ceiv­ing gov­ern­ment sub­sidies” for health care un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act.

Wheth­er Boehner might ul­ti­mately face the wrath of hard­line mem­bers of his Re­pub­lic­an con­fer­ence for al­low­ing sucha vote a Sen­ate-pre­pared bill to re­solve the debt ceil­ing and gov­ern­ment shut­down is open for de­bate. But Demo­crat­ic Rep. John Yar­muth of Ken­tucky is among those provid­ing glow­ing en­dorse­ments for he sees as polit­ic­al bravery by Boehner.

“Today, he is my hero,” said Yar­muth, stand­ing out­side of the House cham­ber.

The de­cision to move ahead with the Sen­ate bill on Wed­nes­day comes after a House GOP meas­ure that Boehner un­veiled to his mem­bers Tues­day un­raveled through the day be­cause of vari­ous ob­jec­tions, mostly from con­ser­vat­ives.

After passing the bill, House GOP lead­ers will al­low mem­bers to ad­journ for the rest of the week — and pos­sibly in­to early next week - ac­cord­ing to law­makers and con­gres­sion­al aides fa­mil­i­ar with the plans.

But once that hap­pens, House mem­bers will be giv­en the green light to leave — and get star­ted on spin­ning what’s just happened to con­stitu­ents back home in their dis­tricts.

What We're Following See More »
AT ISSUE: COMEY FIRING, SESSIONS’S RECUSAL
Mueller Seeks Documents from DOJ
2 days ago
THE LATEST

Special counsel Robert Mueller "is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation." A source tells ABC News that "Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter."

Source:
MULVANEY SAYS PROVISION ISN’T A DEALBREAKER
Trump May Be OK with Dropping Mandate Repeal
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump would not insist on including repeal of an Obama-era health insurance mandate in a bill intended to enact the biggest overhaul of the tax code since the 1980s, a senior White House aide said on Sunday. The version of tax legislation put forward by Senate Republican leaders would remove a requirement in former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law that taxes Americans who decline to buy health insurance."

Source:
FRANKEN JUST THE BEGINNING?
Media Devoting More Resources to Lawmakers’ Sexual Misconduct
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Members of Congress with histories of mistreating women should be extremely nervous. Major outlets, including CNN, are dedicating substantial newsroom resources to investigating sexual harassment allegations against numerous lawmakers. A Republican source told me he's gotten calls from well-known D.C. reporters who are gathering stories about sleazy members."

Source:
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
4 days ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
4 days ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login