White House Rejects House Offer; Hope for Fiscal Deal Now Lies in Senate

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) leaves the U.S. Capitol for a meeting with House Republican leaders and U.S. President Barack Obama October 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. 
National Journal
Michael Catalin, Tim Alberta and Billy House
Add to Briefcase
Michael Catalin Tim Alberta and Billy House
Oct. 12, 2013, 7:52 a.m.

House Re­pub­lic­ans threw up their hands in frus­tra­tion Sat­urday, say­ing com­mu­nic­a­tion has broken down with Pres­id­ent Obama in the ef­fort to re­solve the debt-ceil­ing crisis and the gov­ern­ment shut­down.

Resigned that hope for White House ne­go­ti­ations now lies with the Sen­ate, some House Re­pub­lic­ans even left Wash­ing­ton for the rest of the week­end.

“Ba­sic­ally, there is no deal with the House. This is all now with the Sen­ate,” said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

King said that House Speak­er John Boehner, R-Ohio, de­livered that mes­sage dur­ing a closed-door House GOP meet­ing Sat­urday morn­ing. “He said he hopes the Sen­ate stands firm — whatever that means,” King said.

Many House Re­pub­lic­ans were openly angry fol­low­ing Sat­urday morn­ing’s meet­ing. They ac­cused the White House of not only mis­lead­ing House Re­pub­lic­ans, but of pit­ting House and Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans against one an­oth­er.

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who also said the most re­cent House Re­pub­lic­an of­fer had fallen through, de­scribed it as “a short-term debt lim­it ex­ten­sion with a budget pro­cess, and spe­cif­ic ne­go­ti­ations on re­open­ing the gov­ern­ment.”

But Obama in­formed Boehner last night that he wasn’t in­ter­ested.

In the Sen­ate, talks are in the hands of Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id and Minor­ity Lead­er Mitch Mc­Con­nell. “At the end of the day, what we all are sup­port­ing is the ef­fort that’s un­der way between Sen­at­or Mc­Con­nell and Re­id,” said Sen. Bob Cork­er, R-Tenn.

In the House, many of the Re­pub­lic­ans leav­ing the Sat­urday meet­ing said they were angry or dis­ap­poin­ted, but many also re­mained hope­ful a deal can be worked out, at least to tem­por­ar­ily ex­tend the na­tion’s abil­ity to bor­row, by early next week. The ad­min­is­tra­tion has giv­en Oct. 17 — this Thursday — as the dead­line for Con­gress to act be­fore the United States de­faults on its debt.

The Sen­ate is sched­uled to hold a pro­ced­ur­al vote Sat­urday af­ter­noon on le­gis­la­tion that would lift the debt lim­it through the end of 2014 without any con­di­tions. The meas­ure is ex­pec­ted to fail, as Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans plan to block it and con­tin­ue ne­go­ti­at­ing with the White House on an­oth­er ap­proach to re­open the gov­ern­ment and raise the debt ceil­ing in ex­change for an ar­ray of policy con­ces­sions.

Rep. Steve Scal­ise, R-La., chair­man of the Re­pub­lic­an Study Com­mit­tee, a group of 175 House con­ser­vat­ives, said he could not pre­dict wheth­er the House GOP would back any deal put to­geth­er in part by Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans. “I haven’t seen any plan out of the Sen­ate or the White House that starts ad­dress­ing our prob­lems,” Scal­ise said.

Leav­ing the meet­ing, many rank-and-file Re­pub­lic­ans dir­ec­ted their ire at the White House rather than Boehner, who law­makers in at­tend­ance said flashed ob­vi­ous ir­rit­a­tion with Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans dur­ing Sat­urday’s meet­ing.

“The chal­lenge that we have here, very simply, is that the Re­pub­lic­ans have con­trol of the House, the Demo­crats have con­trol of the Sen­ate, the White House and the me­dia,” said Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ar­iz. “The equa­tion there is very asym­met­ric one for House lead­er­ship.”

“I’m con­vinced that, giv­en that equa­tion, that we’re do­ing the best we can,” Franks said. “And there’s a fifth is­sue — and that [is] we’re deal­ing with a pres­id­ent who un­for­tu­nately doesn’t hold him­self “¦ to the truth or his own word. That’s my con­vic­tion.”

Rep. Raul Lab­rador, R-Idaho, said, “I haven’t been more proud of my lead­er­ship than I’ve been over the last three weeks. I think they’re hold­ing strong and they feel that the Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans are un­der­min­ing their ne­go­ti­ations.”

Said Price: “I’m just astoun­ded that the pres­id­ent can’t take yes for an an­swer. It really is re­mark­able that he re­fuses to ac­cept ba­sic­ally what was his of­fer ini­tially. So we’ll see. Hope­fully he’ll wake up this morn­ing a little smarter and a little more ob­ser­v­ant of what has ac­tu­ally been pro­posed.”

Mean­while, oth­ers said they were go­ing home to their dis­tricts un­til the House is sched­uled to re­turn to ses­sion on Monday, sub­ject to a call­back from House lead­ers.

“I have not seen my 2-year-old for two weeks,” said fresh­man Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.

What We're Following See More »
EMERGING BUDGET FRAMEWORK?
Dems Proposes Obamacare-for-Defense Deal
13 hours ago
THE LATEST

"An emerging government funding deal would see Democrats agree to $15 billion in additional military funding in exchange for the GOP agreeing to fund healthcare subsidies, according to two congressional officials briefed on the talks. Facing a Friday deadline to pass a spending bill and avert a shutdown, Democrats are willing to go halfway to President Trump’s initial request of $30 billion in supplemental military funding."

Source:
WHITE HOUSE BLOCKING DOC REQUEST
Michael Flynn Remains A Russian-Sized Problem
14 hours ago
BREAKING

The Michael Flynn story is not going away for the White House as it tries to refocus its attention. The White House has denied requests from the House Oversight Committee for information and documents regarding payments that the former national security adviser received from Russian state television station RT and Russian firms. House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz and ranking member Elijah Cummings also said that Flynn failed to report these payments on his security clearance application. White House legislative director Marc Short argued that the documents requested are either not in the possession of the White House or contain sensitive information he believes is not applicable to the committee's stated investigation.

Source:
SENATE JUDICIARY HEARING
Sally Yates to Testify on May 8
19 hours ago
THE LATEST
MESSAGE TO PUTIN
U.S. To Conduct Exercises In Estonia
19 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The U.S. deployed "F-35 joint strike fighters" to Estonia on Tuesday. The "jets will stay in Estonia for several weeks and will be a part of training flights with U.S. and other NATO air forces." The move comes at a time of high tension between the U.S. and Estonia's neighbor, Russia. The two nations have been at odds over a number of issues recently, most of all being Vladimir Putin's support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in light of Assad's chemical weapons attack on his own people in the midst of a civil war.

Source:
NOT WORRIED ABOUT BUDGET NEUTRALITY
Trump Wants to Slash Corporate Rate to 15%
1 days ago
THE LATEST
×
×

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