Republicans Not Sold on Boehner’s Debt-Ceiling Plan

House Speaker John Boehner, center, and GOP leaders finish a news conference on Capitol Hill, Sept. 26, 2013, after a closed-door strategy session.
National Journal
Tim Alberta
Add to Briefcase
Tim Alberta
Sept. 26, 2013, 7:25 a.m.

Speak­er John Boehner at­temp­ted Thursday morn­ing to sell House Re­pub­lic­ans on a debt-ceil­ing plan that would delay the im­ple­ment­a­tion of Obama­care, jump­start the Key­stone Pipeline, and in­tro­duce oth­er con­ser­vat­ive re­forms in hopes of unit­ing the GOP con­fer­ence ahead of tough votes on the con­tinu­ing res­ol­u­tion and debt-ceil­ing.

But re­ac­tion from mem­bers was mixed, at best.

“We shouldn’t even be talk­ing about the debt-ceil­ing un­til we get [the Sen­ate] to vote on a good CR for Amer­ica,” fumed Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, who plans to vote against the debt-ceil­ing bill when it hits the floor, which could hap­pen as soon as Fri­day.

Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama said he was un­de­cided on the debt-lim­it pack­age, even though “it def­in­itely has a lot of good­ies in it.” Brooks ad­ded: “It does not cut spend­ing and does not solve the prob­lem.”

Asked if it could pass the House, Brooks replied, “In my judg­ment, no.”

Oth­ers Re­pub­lic­ans, though, were more op­tim­ist­ic. Rep. Tom Price of Geor­gia, who has been work­ing with lead­er­ship to craft a com­pre­hens­ive strategy to deal with the CR and debt-ceil­ing fights, said mem­bers seemed sat­is­fied that Boehner’s pro­pos­al meets the cri­ter­ia they have long de­man­ded for a debt-ceil­ing in­crease.

“It meets the Boehner Rule — any in­crease is met by dol­lar-for-dol­lar de­crease in spend­ing as well as re­forms,” Price said. “It will delay Obama­care for a year. … And it keeps the House mov­ing in a dir­ec­tion where the Sen­ate has to re­spond, which is im­port­ant.”

But does it have enough sup­port to pass the House? “I think so, yeah,” Price said.

Rep. Kev­in Brady of Texas agreed, say­ing con­ser­vat­ives should rally be­hind the Boehner plan. “We should be uni­fied in bring­ing this debt-ceil­ing pro­pos­al out of the House,” said Brady, not­ing that the pack­age in­cludes “very strong, pro-growth policies that will help re­duce the de­fi­cit.”

Brady said of a po­ten­tial floor vote Fri­day: “There should be more than 218.”

The pro­spect of a quick floor vote, however, did not sit well with un­de­cided Re­pub­lic­ans like Rep. Jim Briden­stine of Ok­lahoma. “I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing what lead­er­ship puts on the table,” he said. “I think there’s a lot more to be dis­cussed.”

Rep. Randy Weber of Texas agreed: “I have de­cided not take a po­s­i­tion as of yet,” he said. “I want to hear more.”

Mean­while, con­ser­vat­ive lead­ers wouldn’t bite when asked wheth­er the debt-ceil­ing pro­pos­al has the votes to pass.

“You must con­fuse me with the whip,” said a smil­ing Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas. Pressed to ana­lyze the sup­port with­in his con­fer­ence for Boehner’s plan, Hensarling re­peated three times: “I ex­pect Re­pub­lic­ans to be united.”

Even Rep. Steve Scal­ise, chair­man of the Re­pub­lic­an Study Com­mit­tee, seemed un­cer­tain of wheth­er Boehner’s present­a­tion had won over a suf­fi­cient num­ber of con­ser­vat­ives. “We’re go­ing to find out,” he said. “You’ll have to ask the whip.”

Shane Gold­mach­er con­trib­uted to this re­port.

What We're Following See More »
ANOTHER NUCLEAR OPTION?
Byrd Rule Could Trip Up Health Legislation
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Even if House Republicans manage to get enough members of their party on board with the latest version of their health care bill, they will face another battle in the Senate: whether the bill complies with the chamber’s arcane ... Byrd rule, which stipulates all provisions in a reconciliation bill must affect federal spending and revenues in a way that is not merely incidental." Democrats should have the advantage in that fight, "unless the Senate pulls another 'nuclear option.'”

Source:
ONE WEEK
Senate Votes To Fund Government
2 days ago
BREAKING
ON TO SENATE
House Passes Spending Bill
2 days ago
BREAKING

The House has passed a one-week spending bill that will avert a government shutdown which was set to begin at midnight. Lawmakers now have an extra week to come to a longer agreement which is expected to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year in September. The legislation now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to pass before President Trump signs it.

PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
3 days ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

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