Boehner Bill May Be Revived in House
Several House Republicans exiting a closed door meeting in the basement of the Capitol Friday morning said that House Speaker John Boehner was altering his debt-limit bill in a way that would allow it to pass, just hours after House leadership failed to secure enough votes for the plan.
Members said that the new addition to the bill would be a requirement that both the House and the Senate pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution as a condition for raising the debt ceiling in six months. The plan would increase the debt ceiling by $900 billion now while also cutting about $900 billion in spending over ten years.
Rep. Mo Brooks, R- Alaska, said the change was enough to switch his vote to yes and he predicted the House would vote and pass the amended bill Friday.
“That gets at least double figures of extra votes from Republicans who want to solve the problem. And the problem [is] these unsustainable deficits. You have a balanced budget constitutional amendment, you solve the problem,” Brooks said after the meeting.
Other members who told reporters they were switching from a no to a yes vote are Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. said Friday morning that he would not accept a short-term extension of the debt ceiling, which refers to the Boehner provision that would extend the ceiling for a few months and force another vote in early 2012.
Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., said the meeting discussed how the new bill would play in the Senate.
“We don’t know how the bill that was up yesterday was going to play in the Senate and we don’t really know how this one will play in the Senate. But we need to pass something out of here because we need to start to get some momentum on something,” Campbell said.
Campbell outlined the urgency of acting on a plan soon.
“There’s some early indications in the financial markets that bad things are starting to happen out there. And we need to move something. And there’s nothing coming out of the White House clearly. We need to start to get some movement in this town and solve this problem,” he said.
Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images.