The vote to pass House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) debt ceiling bill has been postponed until at least Friday as Speaker Boehner struggled to obtain the votes to pass his bill. Just before the vote was to take place, it was put on hold while he met with his members individually. And the Senate, waiting for the House to vote, adjourned around 10:45 pm ET and will reconvene Friday morning.
Troubles arose even as the House Republicans sounded confident early in the day that they would have the support among their members. Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said "this conference has moved a great deal in a short amount of time.”
Earlier today, the House passed the rule along party lines (238-186) for Speaker Boehner’s plan to lift the debt ceiling.
A group of House Freshman spoke to reporters and stated their united support for Boehner's plan earlier today. When replying to a question on a reversal of their earlier position, Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) said "the leadership did not put pressure on us, they gave us the facts."
Speaker Boehner released a revised version of his proposal Wednesday evening, which cuts $917 billion dollars of spending over ten years.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed that his new plan does cut more than his previous proposal, which would have cut $850 billion in the next decade, but it is still less than the $1.2 trillion he originally said his plan would cut.
In a statement Speaker Boehner said the new plan sticks to Republican standards: cutting more than lifting the debt ceiling. His new plan proposes a $900 billion debt limit increase. "The Republican proposal includes real spending cuts and reforms that will restrain future spending – and the spending cuts are larger than the debt limit increase," he said.
As Speaker Boehner seeks support among his colleagues, a stalemate between the two parties continues. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said “every Democratic Senator would vote against” Boehner’s plan, making it impossible to pass in the Democratic-led Senate, he said.
Meanwhile, stocks tumbled again Thursday upon news that the path forward is still filled with obstacles, just days before the August 2nd deadline, which is the date the White House says the U.S. could default on its loans and the ratings agencies say they could downgrade U.S. credit.
House Democrats encouraged the President to invoke the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution to unilaterally lift the debt ceiling without Congressional authorization. But the White House has rejected the option. White House Spokesperson Jay Carney said, “The President does not have the authority to raise the debt ceiling.”
Senator Reid has a proposal that would lift the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion and cut spending by $2.2 trillion, which includes savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a CBO analysis.