House GOP Leadership has pulled from the floor its latest proposal to end the partial government shutdown and lift the debt ceiling. Leadership had spent all day Tuesday trying to build support for the proposal, tweaking and altering the specific language to attract conservative support. Those efforts weren’t enough, however, as the proposal faced likely defeat.
The retreat in the House refocuses attention on the Senate, where leaders Reid and McConnell are trying to finalize a plan to end the shutdown and hike the debt ceiling. Talks had been put on hold Tuesday as the House tried to craft a final proposal ahead of the debt ceiling deadline on Thursday.
House Republicans had rejected the rough outline of the Senate deal, feeling it didn’t go far enough in altering or changing ObamaCare. The Senate deal would fund the government through January 15 and raise the debt ceiling through early February. Republicans are likely to win a provision providing greater enforcement of income eligibility for ObamaCare subsidies.
The country is scheduled to hit its debt ceiling on Thursday. After that, the government won’t be able to borrow funds to meet its obligations. If Congress doesn’t come to an agreement, the government could run out of cash at the end of October.
It is impossible, at this late stage, to avoid hitting the debt ceiling, at least temporarily. There simply isn’t enough time to clear the necessary procedural hurdles, even if an agreement were reached Tuesday night. The brinksmanship by President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid will take us past the deadline on Thursday.