Dems Lash Faltering House GOP Bill

Boehner says 'no decision has been made'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 15, 2013 9:40 AM CDT | Updated Oct 15, 2013 11:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – House Republicans don't look ready to fall in behind Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell's plan to end the shutdown, and Democrats are lining up to take a swing at their effort. The House leadership today proposed an alternative plan that would include extra changes to ObamaCare, including a two-year delay on the tax on medical devices, and the elimination of federal subsidies for members of Congress and White House staff, the AP reports. "We think we've enhanced it in a number of ways," Darrell Issa tells the Washington Post, though he refused to say what Republicans would do if Democrats balked.

  • And Democrats balked mightily. The White House quickly rejected the proposal as a "a partisan attempt to appease a small group of Tea Party Republicans," and insisted it would not pay a "ransom," the Hill reports. House Democratic leaders called the plan "irresponsible," and Harry Reid said it was a "waste of time" that "will not pass the Senate.
  • Even before Democrats spoke, Boehner seemed to be distancing himself from the reports, telling reporters that House leadership has made "no decisions about what exactly we will do." He added that "there are a lot of opinions" among his caucus.
  • The New York Times interpreted that as the House plan collapsing, and CNN reports that Boehner is "struggling" to find the votes for the proposal.
  • But Politico's story indicates that there's still fight left in House leadership, with sources saying that they're considering voting on their proposal, then hightailing it out of Washington, leaving the Senate with two choices: Pass the House bill, or let the country default.

Speaker of the House John Boehner with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy walks to a meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol, Oct. 15, 2013.
Speaker of the House John Boehner with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy walks to a meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol, Oct. 15, 2013.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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