Senate Republicans Float Plan to Open Government, Lift Debt Limit

The proposal Susan Collins presented to Obama would create a six-month window for negotiating a broader fiscal reform plan.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 11: (2nd L-R) Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Sen. Rob Porter (R-OH), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) (L), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) talk outside the Strom Thurman Room after leaving a Senate Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol October 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans met with President Barack Obama at the White House to discuss proposals to end the stalemate on the 11th day of the federal government partial shutdown. 
National Journal
Michael Catalin and Shane Goldmacher
Add to Briefcase
Michael Catalin Shane Goldmacher
Oct. 11, 2013, 11:36 a.m.

Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­ans emerged from a more than 90-minute meet­ing with Pres­id­ent Obama on Fri­day more bullish than they have been in re­cent days on the chances to end the gov­ern­ment shut­down, now in its el­ev­enth day, and avoid breach­ing the na­tion’s debt lim­it next week.

In the meet­ing, law­makers said that Sen. Susan Collins, the mod­er­ate Re­pub­lic­an from Maine, presen­ted to Obama a plan that would lift the debt lim­it un­til the end of Janu­ary and keep the gov­ern­ment op­er­at­ing for six months. Law­makers would then use that time to craft a broad­er fisc­al agree­ment.

“He seems open to some of the sug­ges­tions that I made,” Collins said.

Her pack­age, as presen­ted, would also in­clude the rolling back of a tax on med­ic­al devices that helps fund the pres­id­ent’s health care law. Obama did not em­brace the pack­age but nu­mer­ous Re­pub­lic­ans, in­clud­ing Collins, said the con­ver­sa­tion was “con­struct­ive.”

Oth­er Re­pub­lic­an sen­at­ors have sug­ges­ted dif­fer­ent lengths of time for both the debt lim­it and gov­ern­ment op­er­a­tions, but they broadly agreed that talks were on track to­ward a solu­tion, per­haps for the first time since the crisis began.

“I think we’re on a pretty good course right now — I do,” said Sen. Bob Cork­er, R-Tenn., after the meet­ing.

Broadly speak­ing, mul­tiple Re­pub­lic­ans said they were en­cour­aged the ne­go­ti­ations had shif­ted from dis­mant­ling the health care law to ad­dress­ing fisc­al mat­ters.

“He feels very strongly about the Af­ford­able Care Act,” said Sen. Mike Jo­hanns, R-Neb, “and he’s not go­ing to give on that.”

In­stead, Re­pub­lic­ans hope to use the short-term debt-lim­it in­crease to ne­go­ti­ate a broad­er pack­age of changes to en­ti­tle­ment pro­grams.

Traps re­main. Collins noted that Obama — who has de­clared defin­it­ively that he re­fuses to ne­go­ti­ate over re­open­ing the gov­ern­ment and lift­ing the debt lim­it — seemed reti­cent to pack­age those items with any­thing else.

“It seems to be one of tim­ing for him,” Collins said. “The prob­lem is if you don’t put it all to­geth­er in one plan I don’t know that we will be able to get suf­fi­cient sup­port to re­open gov­ern­ment and to ex­tend the debt lim­it. That’s why I think it’s bet­ter to com­bine them in one plan.”

Not all Re­pub­lic­ans were en­cour­aged. “I’m not sure that it had any ma­jor ma­ter­i­al ef­fect one way or the oth­er,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

And Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Re­pub­lic­an in the Sen­ate, was hardly pos­it­ive. In a pre­pared state­ment, he said “what could have been a pro­duct­ive con­ver­sa­tion was in­stead an­oth­er pre­dict­able lec­ture from the pres­id­ent that did not lay out a new path for­ward.”

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
1 days ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
1 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
1 days ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team is "is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates", including "Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008."

Source:
ANALYSIS FROM CBO
32 Million More Uninsured by 2026 if Obamacare Repealed
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"A Senate bill to gut Obamacare would increase the number of uninsured people by 32 million and double premiums on Obamacare's exchanges by 2026, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The analysis is of a bill that passed Congress in 2015 that would repeal Obamacare's taxes and some of the mandates. Republicans intend to leave Obamacare in place for two years while a replacement is crafted and implemented."

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