Boehner Plan Stalled In The House, Reid Plan Moving Forward In The Senate

The House Republican leadership is once again trying to put together the 216 votes they need to get John Boehner’s debt ceiling bill passed:

House GOP leaders expressed confidence Friday morning that they would move a vote on raising the debt ceiling one day after they had to pull their Speaker’s measure from a planned House floor vote.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said “just a handful of members” had a problem with the bill that was pulled from a scheduled House vote on Thursday

Cantor made the remark before a meeting of the House GOP conference on Friday morning. He said GOP leaders were going to talk to their members when he asked about the possibility that Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) bill would be changed.


Despite their struggles on Thursday, GOP leaders voiced optimism ahead of Thursday’s meeting.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, the GOP conference chairman, said, “I believe there will be a vote today” in response to a question about whether there will be a vote on Friday.

“We’ve got a plan,” said Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as he walked to the conference meeting. McCarthy declined to comment further.

Notwithstanding Hensarling and McCarthy’s optimism, Majority Leader Eric Cantor is not committing to bringing the bill up for a vote today:

On Friday morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was non-committal about bringing Speaker John Boehner’s debt ceiling package back to the floor — less than 12 hours after GOP leadership pulled the bill fearing it would fail without enough Republican votes.

The Virginia Republican told POLITICO in a brief interview as he walked into the Capitol Friday morning that “we’ll see” if the twice-delayed debt ceiling package would see a vote.

“We’re going to go and have conference and we’ll see where members are,” Cantor said, as he walked to his office suite.

Meanwhile, with action in the House stalled, the Senate is getting ready to move forward:

With House action stalled, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday he’d take the lead and move his bill to raise the national debt limit and avert an economy-shaking default next week.

Calling his plan “the last train out of the station,” Reid said there are only hours to act before Tuesday’s Treasury deadline, so he plans to file a procedural motion Friday to move towards a final vote in the next few days.

“That is why, by the end of the day today, I must take action on the Senate’s compromise legislation,” he said.

Republicans are opposed to Reid’s plan, saying that it would give President Barack Obama too long of a debt ceiling increase by extending it through 2012. And they criticize its proposed savings of $1 trillion from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, calling it a gimmick.

But Reid said he was about to make “tweaks” to his plan to win GOP support, which he would need to get 60 votes and break a possible filibuster attempt.

Under Senate rules, bringing the bill forward now means we would be looking at a vote sometime Sunday. At this point, it seems clear that the best chance for a deal is if Reid and Mitch McConnell are able to hammer out an agreement, change the Reid bill slightly, pass it, and send it to the House. If that doesn’t happen, then I think we’ll be in the same place on Monday that we are now.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. hey norm says:

    Now there is word that Boehner is back to a BBA – which must clear both houses and be sent to the states before the second debt ceiling raise will be voted on, in say six months.
    What are these clowns thinking? They can barely get this out of the house on a simple majority. Where do they think they are going to get 2/3rds?
    They are delusional. How does going further to the extreme help solve this problem – which they created?

  2. john personna says:

    @hey norm:

    What are these clowns thinking?

    Sad world if Boehner thinks he has to front for the nuts.

  3. Chad S says:

    The House GOP passes a bill out of the rules committee late last night which looks like an easily amendable version of Mcconnell/Reid.

  4. PJ says:

    Chad S, and that bill has now been revised to appease the Republicans who refused to vote for the original bill.

    The GOP will rather default than compromising with Democrats.

    The GOP in Congress is a cult.

  5. APL says:

    To all you right and left wingers out there, GET SOME KNOWLEDGE!!.
    We would not be in this position if the people who make the laws,
    and regulations had any common sense at all.

    No.1. Social Security would not be in this mess if the Democrats
    had not taken all the money out of the Fund in the 1960s’

    No. 2. Medicares’ problems are because it is way over used,
    and filled with Fraud, and doctors and medical facilities
    go out of their way to protect themselves from litigation.

    No. 3. The Constitution does not provide for all the freebees and
    Departments that have been created over the years.

    The Government needs to live within its’ incomes just like
    we little people do. Therefore, I believe we need a
    Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.

    The fact is, we will not default if we pay the interest on our loans.
    We have enough tax money coming in to pay bond interest,
    Social Security, Medicare, Military and more. We would have to
    shut down some government departments and lay off workers.

    SO WHAT. It will hurt all of us, some more than others, but
    we need to get our SH**T together now, rather than later
    when it will hurt so much more.

    Another thing. Lets’ lower the Congressional and Presidential
    pay scales. None of them work near as hard as most of us
    that do work. Let Congress and the President go on Social
    Security. Are they Better than us? Why should we pay
    Retirement Benefits of close to 100% of salary when
    we can not get anywhere near that for ourselves no matter
    how long or hard we work.

    Now I know that I am going to catch a whole lot of CRAP
    from most of you bloggers out there. But that’s all right.

    Just prove that I am wrong, and give me a workable long term solution.

  6. Gustopher says:

    Since were pretty much screwed at this point choosing between recovery wrecking austerity and global catastrophe, and the only good thing to come out of this is entertainment, I wish Reid would have had the Senate vote down Boehner’s bill while the House was still in arm twisting mode.

    The Senate is where bills go to die, so there have to be lots of nice House passed bills waiting to be completely amended with Boehner’s draft bill.

  7. Socrates says:

    “The Government needs to live within its’ incomes just like
    we little people do.”

    This dumb meme needs to die.

    You’ve never heard of credit cards, small business borrowing, or borrowing money to buy a house, a vehicle, or to go to college, etc.?

  8. hey norm says:

    @ APL…

    No. 3. The Constitution does not provide for all the freebees and
    Departments that have been created over the years.

    I know exactly what you mean — I was just at the Post Office and they have computers and trucks and stuff. Where in the Constitution does it say anything about computers and trucks and stuff? If the founding fathers wanted the Post Office to have computers and trucks and stuff they would have put it in the Constitution. But they didn’t–so there is no need for the Post Office to have computers and trucks and stuff. We need to get real people!!!!!!

  9. Rob in CT says:


    This, boys and girls, is what we’re up against. A potent mixture of ignorance and high dudgeon. Though I can’t argue about putting Congress & the Pres on the same benefits the rest of us get. That would be a hoot (though it likely wouldn’t change much of anything, as they typically enrich themselves in other ways).

    There are workable long-term solutions that do not involve: a) a debt-ceiling game of chicken; and b) balanced budgets *now*, when we have ~9% unemployment following a massive financial panic. There will need to be cuts/cost controls with regard to future medical spending (Medicare, basically), there may need to be some SS cuts (COLA adjustment), there need to be significant military spending cuts, and taxes need to go back up to the levels we had in the 90s (actually, comprehensive tax reform would be even better, but I’m aiming low here). That takes care of most, if not all, of our problem. We could also cut subsidies to various industries (or all of them) and seek reasonable benefits concessions from the federal workforce, if necessary.

    The trouble is the medical cost thing is a really, really tough nut to crack. There are ways to approach that issue as well, but I fear we’ve taken our shot at that and we won’t get another crack at it for ~25 years.

    Slashing discretionary spending, especially at this moment, is not smart policy. It will not help the economy (it will hurt it) and it will not do much (or anything, depending on the economic impact) for the long-term fiscal health of the federal government.

  10. APL says:

    @Socrates: This sounds like a comment
    from someone who is not intelligent enough to manage his
    own finances. The Government IS NOT responsible for taking
    care of your personal needs, Period.

    If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. If you get in over you head,
    YOU are responsible and must pay the consequences.

  11. APL says:

    @hey norm: I agree. The Constitution
    also did not state that the Post Office be supplied with
    horses and wagons either. Only that Congress will
    establish a Postal Service (Post Offices) to handle mail.