House Vote Called Off to Reopen Government, Avert Default
WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) – A vote that would reopen the government and extend the U.S. borrowing limit will not come up for a House vote.
CBS News reported that a GOP leadership aide said the Republican-led House struggled to get the numbered need for an adequate vote. Now, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have resumed negotiations.
Tuesday evening, spokesmen for Reid and McConnell said they are “optimistic that an agreement is within reach.”
The U.S. will have exhausted its borrowing authority on Oct. 17 and the global rating agency Fitch said the AAA credit rating is now under review for a downgrade.
“Although Fitch continues to believe that the debt ceiling will be raised soon, the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default,” the firm said in a statement to CBS News.
McConnell put the Senate plan discussed Monday was put on hold Tuesday afternoon to see if House Republicans could pass a plan first. Since that didn’t happen, the plan could become more attractive to Senate conservatives.
Top Republicans unveiled a plan that would repeal a new tax on medical devices and take away lawmakers’ federal health care subsidies in addition to funding the government through Jan. 15 and giving Treasury the ability to borrow normally through Feb. 7.
House Speaker John Boehner said though that “there have been no decisions about what exactly” House Republicans will do.
“We’re talking with our members on both sides of the aisle to find a way to move forward today,” Boehner said earlier Tuesday.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that Boehner is caving in to the Tea Party.
“What you saw here earlier … was the speaker who did not have the votes for his proposal,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi mentioned getting Democrats to pass the Troubled Asset Relief Program during the financial collapse in 2008, saying, “House Democrats saved the country from going over the brink.”
Pelosi added: “This is the Bush administration debt.”
White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage says a proposal from House GOP leaders that would attach health care law changes to shut-down and debt ceiling measures is a, quote, “partisan attempt to appease a small group of Tea Party Republicans who forced the government shut down in the first place.”
The government shutdown will enter its 16th day Wednesday.
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