Boehner Plan Will Go For A Vote
WASHINGTON -- House Republicans will hold a vote Friday on a revised plan to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending by $22 billion next year, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said.
The viability of the House GOP debt plan, proposed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), was in doubt on Thursday evening, after it was pulled from the floor just before it was set to go for a vote. It had already been revised once, after an embarrassing Congressional Budget Office score that showed the original bill would cut billions less than it was meant to. The second version of the bill, which leadership called the last-ditch effort to avoid default, was still a few votes short of the 216 needed for passage on Thursday evening.
But by Friday morning, many members who had previously opposed the bill said they will now support it. The key was a change in the Balanced Budget Amendment provision of the bill. While the original plan required a vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment, the new bill will require passage of the amendment in both the House and the Senate to trigger the second tranche of the bill -- a second raise of the debt ceiling set to take place later this year.
"I don't think we're short at all, I think it's going to pass today," Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), a freshman who previously opposed the bill, said after a GOP conference meeting. The Balanced Budget Amendment change "got a lot of additional Republican votes," he said.
Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.), who also was a "no" vote as of Thursday, said he will now support the bill. He said he is not concerned that the changes to the bill will make it even more likely to fail in the Senate.
"I was sent here to be a part of the House," he told HuffPost. "What they do on that side, you'll have to go put some pressure on them."
Others, though, said they remain unconvinced, though are leaning toward a "yes" vote. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a vocal critic of the original bill, said he thinks he can now support it.
"I need to read this," he said. "I think I can, but I need to read it."
Even if the bill does pass the House later on Friday, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where Democrats have vowed to block it. The bill has also received a veto threat from President Obama, who said on Friday that the bill "does not solve the problem and will not become law."
But Gohmert says he is not worried the House is giving up some of its leverage by moving farther to the right on its new plan. With House Republicans seemingly unable to come forward and pass the Boehner-backed bill on Thursday, it is more likely Democrats' votes will eventually be necessary to pass a debt-ceiling increase through the House.
Democrats have vowed not to support the Boehner plan when it comes for a vote.
"Isn't that what a Democracy is supposed to be?" Gohmert said.