WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republican leaders pleaded with their recalcitrant rank and file Thursday to back a plan to stave off an unprecedented government default next week. The House vote would bring President Barack Obama and congressional leaders one step closer to the endgame before Tuesday's deadline.
Republicans are seeking deep spending cuts in exchange for raising the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit. The White House has threatened to veto the House GOP bill even if it makes it through the Senate, where it faces unanimous opposition among Senate Democrats. Still, getting the newly modified House plan passed on Thursday was seen as an important step toward the process of finding a compromise between the House and Senate proposals.
In a closed-door GOP meeting just hours before a scheduled vote, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made headway in getting toward the 217 votes necessary to pass his plan in the House. No Democrats were expected to support it. Boehner told the Republicans he expected to round up enough votes but was not there yet.
"But today is the day," he said, according to people in the room.
"I think it's the best deal we can get," said Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, who said he had dropped his opposition. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., said he would back the measure to ensure that Boehner "has a seat at the table" for the endgame negotiations.The White House expected Boehner to rally Republicans for the measure, with adviser David Plouffe saying it will "pass out of the House in partisan fashion." Click here to continue reading article.