House GOP Lacks Votes To Pass Its Debt Ceiling Plan

Yesterday, the House GOP Leadership introduced its version of a plan to raise the debt ceiling that includes, among other things, a one year delay in the implementation of most provisions of the Affordable Care Act, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and other matters. Given that President Obama has said repeatedly that he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling it’s hard to see the plan getting anywhere. This seems to be especially true given the fact that there don’t seem to be enough votes in the House to pass it:

House Republican leaders found themselves struggling to secure the votes on Thursday for a debt-ceiling measure they hoped to pass swiftly through the House as the latest salvo in a multifront fiscal fight.

In a closed-door meeting, the leaders outlined to their members a proposal that would demand a laundry list of Republican priorities in exchange for a yearlong suspension of the nation’s $16.7 trillion borrowing limit. The centerpiece of the plan is a one-year delay of President Obama’s signature healthcare law.

But hours after the meeting, the party had yet to release the legislation formally, and conservatives complained that it lacked specific spending cuts and failed to tackle entitlement reform.

“We still have some challenges,” said Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), an ally of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and member of the GOP whip team. “We’ve got an awful lot of support, but clearly at this point we don’t have a final product that’s attracting the number that we need. Hopefully that’ll change, and I think it could.”

Cole said leaders were still tinkering with the plan, which senior Republicans earlier had said would go to the House Rules Committee on Thursday.

GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) told The Hill late Thursday that leaders are “still figuring out the timing” of a vote to increase the nation’s borrowing authority.

A meeting of the House GOP leadership late Thursday afternoon broke up without an announcement about the bill. Aides said the timing remained “in flux,” and the Rules Committee had yet to schedule a meeting.

The committee did plan to meet to approve a same-day rule allowing the debt ceiling to be brought up at any time. GOP leaders previously had argued that because many elements in the debt ceiling plan have been previously voted on by the House, a three-day layover rule could be waived.

House leaders had hoped to schedule the debt-ceiling vote as early as Friday, thinking it could help them move a separate measure to fund the government. They want to focus the fight over government spending on the debt measure, where they have long believed they have more leverage with the White House.

Meanwhile, the Senate is back in session and will vote on the Cloture Vote on the House Continuing Resolution shortly after Noon today. By all estimations, that vote will succeed in getting the 60 votes needed to pass, perhaps quite comfortably. After that vote, there will be a vote on an Amendment proposed by Harry Reid that will strip the language that would defund Obamacare from the bill. That vote only requires a simple majority vote and will likely pass. Then, there will be a vote on the final bill as amended that also only needs a simple majority vote. After that, the ball will be back in the House’s court as we head into the weekend.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Health Care, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds 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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rafer Janders says:

    Yesterday, the House GOP Leadership introduced its version of a plan to raise the debt ceiling that includes, among other things, a one year delay in the implementation of most provisions of the Affordable Care Act, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and other matters.

    I’m surprised they didn’t also demand that Obama resign and hand over the Oval Office to Mitt Romney. Though this may just be because they’ve chosen to forget that Romney ever existed….

  2. Argon says:

    Sower, meet reaper. You wanted a ‘Southern strategy’. You wanted to tap Fundamentalists and their irrational, anti-scientific ilk. You gave a wink and a nod to tap the Birchers. You wanted to retain power by stoking fear of ‘the others’ and reactionary sentiments.

    This is what you get.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    If it wasn’t about the Governance of this Republic…you could laugh at this collection of idiots.
    But it is about governance.
    What a tragedy.

  4. Ron Beasley says:

    Poor John Boehner now has to decide if his country or his job is more important. Actually it may not be that much of a choice – if the teahardists manage to blow up the economy his job probably won’t be worth much anyway. It’s time to ditch the “Hastert rule” and do what’s best for the country. Anything short of that is treason.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    I’m failing to see the problem. Strip the crap, waive the Hastert rule, pass it with Dem votes. Of course Boehner then gets lynched, perhaps literally, by the TP. But I’m OK with that.

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    It’s time to ditch the “Hastert rule”

    You mean the “House of Republicans” should once again be the “House of Representatives”???? What a novel idea.

  7. rudderpedals says:

    John has to dance with who brung him there. With no good choices his least worst choice is to let the shutdown happen.

  8. john personna says:

    Scanning this morning’s news (rejection of Net Neutrality in Republican demands?) the words that float to the top of my mind are:

    Clown Circus.

  9. Anonne says:

    Ah, but the real hidden gem in the ransom note is the one that would give them the power to screw over average consumers put the CFPB funding back into normal appropriations so that they could starve it and let Jamie Dimon and friends continue to fist us coming and going.

  10. legion says:

    The GOP has spent the last several cycles trying to gain a majority in the Senate. What’s the over-under on them actually losing the House instead after the next elections?

  11. C. Clavin says:

    Jon Chait calls this the “House-GOP-est” thing ever.

  12. john personna says:

    @legion:

    That would normally be a worry, and a brake on this kind of behavior, but they seem confident in their districting (gerrymandering).

    California fixed that, so well that the balance of the state legislature now matches the popular vote for the state legislature. You can too. Agitate in your state to fix this national problem.

  13. john personna says:

    Parable:

    You are working and a buddy asks if you want to head out for lunch. You say “where?” After brief negotiation you decide to head for a burger joint. Half-way there though, the guy says “I don’t want burgers, I want pizza, and if you don’t agree I’ll crash this car!” Now, it is probably prudent to say “OK, fine. Pizza.” But you should also never, ever, go to lunch with that guy again.

    This GOP ultimatum is about something like lunch number three and there is no way the Democrats can accept it.

  14. al-Ameda says:

    “We still have some challenges,” said Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), an ally of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and member of the GOP whip team. “We’ve got an awful lot of support, but clearly at this point we don’t have a final product that’s attracting the number that we need. Hopefully that’ll change, and I think it could.”

    Translation: “We still have time to leverage this into a downgrade in the investment rating of American debt securities.”

  15. RaflW says:

    @john personna: Its a fairly good parable, but it is predicated on being able to get out of the car. But at least until 2014, and possibly for much longer based on districts and off-year turnout, the car doors are locked.

  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @john personna:

    You can too.

    My current Reps (both state and national) owe their seats at least in part to gerrymandering. None of them are ever going to listen to me. Yes, one more reason I am jealous of CA.

  17. john personna says:

    @RaflW:

    Yeah, the parable could have been better. There are more players in the car. A minority opinion driver is at the wheel and threatening, the rest have the choice of whether to wrestle him or not, while the car is still in motion. They have the votes, but …

  18. JohnMcC says:

    Ryan Lizza has a short piece in New York Magazine “Where the G.O.P.’s Suicide Caucus Lives” in which he points out that the 80 congresspersons who are most associated with the ‘DEFUND IT’ movement live in a different country than the rest of us. Their districts are 75% white and Mr Romney won the presidential election by 23 points. Their average margin of victory was 34 points.

    Sad to say but they actually are representing their constituents.

  19. Woody says:

    The Boehner proposal effectively replaces Barack Obama with Phantom Mitt Romney. America is treated to the Romney platform in exchange for a coffee break from hostage holding.

    And it will have a terrific chance of succeeding. Fox watchers will hear GOP party pols exclusively, whereas the rest of the country will be presented with the “Chuck” Todd Not-Our-Responsibility-To-Verify-Claims nonsense.

  20. al-Ameda says:

    @JohnMcC:

    congresspersons who are most associated with the ‘DEFUND IT’ movement live in a different country than the rest of us. Their districts are 75% white and Mr Romney won the presidential election by 23 points. Their average margin of victory was 34 points.

    And it’s not limited in scope to these congress-people. I live in a (very) liberal area and it is white working conservative voters who are all in on DEFUND.

    The great majority of my family and extended family is very conservative. They are ardent viewers of Fox News, and listeners of/to guys like Mark Levin and the conservative line-up on talk radio. My parents, brothers and sisters and their wives and husbands all appropriate their political opinions from those sources. All of them were genuinely shocked at the November 2012 election results – all of them were confident that Romney was going to win. My family (dad, brothers sisters, their spouses) is in with the DEFUND people, and this is the Bay Area, not the Sun Belt.

    It’s cultural – White working people are now conservative tea party type voters.

  21. john personna says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Sad to say but they actually are representing their constituents.

    If their constituents are party to “our way or shutdown,” then their constituents too must have their bluff called.

  22. KM says:

    Let us then see how principled they are. Let us then see how in order to starve the beast they are willing to thus starve themselves. Let us then see how to kill the monstrous evil they have conjured in the mind of their people by causing hardship and chaos in those same people. Let us then see how in order to someone be more financially responsible we ruin what little credit and faith we have left and send the economy to a shambles.

    Let us see then if cons have thus made a deal with the devil, they have the balls to pay up.

  23. Facebones says:

    @john personna: The problem is that these Red State Salt of the Earth Real Murricans have been told over and over that government is useless and wasteful and all their hard earned money goes to help “those people” (you know, black welfare queens). So why would any of them oppose a government shutdown? It won’t affect them! At least until their Social Security checks stop coming.

  24. bill says:

    Ah, memories……remember this one?

    In March 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., found the notion of raising the debt ceiling quite distasteful.

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” he said. “It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

  25. labman57 says:

    The House Republican caucus has regressed into a caricature of itself, behaving in an absurd manner that would befit an over-the-top SNL skit.

    Their inane, out-of-touch list of demands is akin to what might view in a silly comedy wherein armed bank robbers hold hostages and demand a “gazillion” dollars, a helicopter, a bucket of extra crispy KFC, a couple of hookers, a live interview by the Today Show, their own sitcom, and the mayor’s job.