House GOP Leaders: Boehner Bill Reflects Compromise

BY Quinn Bowman  July 28, 2011 at 4:25 PM EDT

Updated 10:48 p.m. ET
Republican leaders have announced that there will be no vote on the Boehner debt plan Thursday night, after hours of efforts to corral enough support to pass the measure.

Politico reports:

The House Rules Committee was expected to meet later Thursday night to issue a rule that would allow the GOP to bring a new bill to the floor quickly on Friday if the final votes can be secured.

We’ll have more analysis in Friday’s Morning Line as well as from the NewsHour’s Capitol Hill team. Stay tuned.

Updated 5:40 p.m. ET

In a dramatic change of plans, House Republican leaders delayed a vote on Speaker Boehner’s debt limit deal Thursday, just moments before the vote was set to begin.

While there was no official explanation from leadership aides as to why the vote was delayed, it is likely that they did not have enough votes they needed to pass the measure and are scrambling to get enough members to get behind it.

It is not known when a vote on the measure will occur — the House is debating instead on eight different measures that will name post offices. According to staffers, the House could delay the vote for several hours, but an aide to Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said the vote will take place Thursday evening.

Stay tuned for updates on this story.

Posted 4:25 p.m. ET
House Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team urged passage of their short-term debt limit increase Thursday, calling it a compromise that the Senate needs to pass.

“The bill’s not perfect…but what this bill reflects a sincere and honest effort to end this crisis in a bipartisan way,” Boehner said Thursday afternoon.

House Republican Leader Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, and GOP Whip Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., address the media November 3, 2010 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

He said the bill fits the goals of cutting spending more than the amount the debt limit would be raised, and that it does not increase taxes.

“For the sake of jobs, for the sake of our country, I’m asking the Representatives in the House in a bipartisan way and asking my colleagues in the Senate, let’s pass this bill and end this crisis,” he said.

His deputy, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., played the attack dog role and challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who has promised to kill the Boehner bill, to either accept the pending House plan, their earlier Cut Cap and Balance plan or “suffer the economic consequences of default.”

“Harry Reid can’t have it both ways. The fact is, the president has asked us to compromise. We’ve compromised, we sent over our idea, the vision of how we would take this country forward if we were in control. That was Cut Cap and Balance. The Senate dispensed with that immediately,” Cantor said.

Democrats in the House and Senate oppose to the Boehner bill, mostly because it only extends the debt limit for a few months and forces a fresh debt limit showdown this winter. Democrats favor Reid’s plan to cut $2.2 trillion over ten years and a raise in the debt limit until after the 2012 elections. The Boehner plan would cut about $900 billion and require more cuts in a few months in order for there to be a fresh debt limit increase.

As time runs out before the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt limit, after which the federal government will have to immediately cut 40 percent of its spending and face an expensive downgrade in its credit rating, the path toward increasing that limit is still unclear. Reid has promised to kill the Boehner bill, and Reid’s bill likely cannot overcome a filibuster in the Senate, meaning a third way will have to emerge via negotiations – assuming neither side caves.

Boehner wouldn’t say Thursday whether he thinks his debt limit increase plan can pass the House, a sign that the early evening vote will likely be a tight one. As debate began over his debt limit increase plan on the House floor, Boehner was meeting individually with undecided members in his ceremonial office, according to reports.

When asked if he had the votes to pass his measure, Boehner stepped aside from the podium at a press conference to allow Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to answer. McCarthy wouldn’t predict a victory

“This conference has moved a great deal in a short amount of time,” McCarthy said.

Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images.