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 »
DOCUMENTS OBTAINED BY U.S. INTEL
Putin-Linked Think Tank Developed Plan to Influence U.S. Election
3 days ago
THE LATEST

A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."

Source:
HELPED WIN FISA APPROVAL
FBI Relied on Dossier Allegations to Monitor Page
4 days ago
THE LATEST

"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."

Source:
AIR FORCE SCRAMBLES JETS IN RESPONSE
Russian Bombers Fly Near Alaska
5 days ago
WHY WE CARE
A MESSAGE TO RUSSIA?
Pentagon Deploying F-35s to Europe
1 weeks ago
THE LATEST

"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.

Source:
NOT ON SCHEDULE
Tillerson Meets Putin
1 weeks ago
BREAKING
×
×

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