WASHINGTON–House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called off a vote on a GOP-drafted debt ceiling/shutdown measure after conservatives yanked their support and Boehner did not want to go with a plan that would attract House Democratic votes, with the House in a meltdown hours before the deadline to raise the debt ceiling or risk the first default in the history of the U.S.
“The House has no votes scheduled for this evening and I don’t know what happens next, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told reporters outside the Speaker’s office in the Capitol.
On Wednesday, unless there is some unusual overnight development, the next move starts in the Senate.
Over on the Senate side, Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters that McConnell and Boehner have been speaking through the day while McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) are working on finalizing a framework bi-partisan agreement.
“Given tonight’s events, the Leaders have decided to work toward a solution that would reopen the government and prevent default. They are optimistic an agreement can be reached,” Stewart said.
EARLIER TUESDAY,there were signals Boehner did not have the GOP votes to proceed Tuesday night on a Republican-authored debt ceiling/shutdown plan. A meeting called for the Rules Committee at 5:40 p.m. ET to act on the House proposals–a step needed before legislation can reach the House floor–was postponed until further notice.
BEFORE THAT, GOP leaders were gearing up for a vote Tuesday night over a stopgap plan to lift the debt ceiling and reopen government. It is not clear yet whether the Senate and White House will agree to the GOP House approach–a measure where so far, House Democrats have not bought into. It also is not clear if House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has the 217 votes needed to pass from the 232 Republicans. The House Rules Committee is meeting at 5:40 p.m. ET to act on the GOP House proposal, a necessary step before any legislation can reach the House floor.
Summary of House GOP legislation:
“Extends the continuing resolution at sequester levels through December 15, 2013; extends the debt limit through February 7, 2014 and eliminate “extraordinary measures” through April 15, 2014; ensures that Members of Congress, the President, Vice-President, Members of the President’s cabinet, political appointees within the Administration, White House Staff, and congressional staff from Member’s personal, committee, and leadership offices may only purchase their insurance from the Obamacare Exchanges without any subsidy.”
Related AP story: New House GOP plan as debt-limit deadline nears