US House Passes Boehner Debt Hike Bill; Senate To Reject Soon
–House Passes Speaker Boehner’s Debt Hike Bill, 218 to 210
–Senate Set To Table Boehner’s Plan As Early As Friday Night
–Tough Talks To Extend Through Weekend On Debt-Hike Compromise
By John Shaw
WASHINGTON (MNI) – After a week of revisions and fierce lobbying by
the House Republican leadership, the House approved late Friday a debt
ceiling bill that the White House opposes and Senate Democrats have
vowed to kill as early as later in the night.
The House approved the GOP’s debt hike bill on a 218-to-210 vote.
No Democrat voted for the legislation.
The bill now goes to the Senate where Majority Leader Harry Reid
has vowed to defeat the measure quickly.
House Speaker John Boehner closed the debate on the floor of the
House by offering a rousing defense of his bill, saying it offers the
best path for the U.S. to get out of the debt ceiling crisis.
Boehner also defended his negotiations with President Obama on a
debt ceiling compromise.
“I have offered ideas. I have negotiated … . I stuck my neck out
a mile,” he said.
The Speaker added that he was even willing to discuss additional
revenues with Obama as part of a deficit reduction package e, a
position strongly opposed by many House Republicans.
The House-passed bill would raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion
this year and $1.6 trillion next year. The initial $900 billion debt
ceiling increase would require Congress to pass $917 billion in spending
cuts through the imposition of caps on discretionary spending.
Approval of the second tranche of $1.6 trillion would require
passage of $1.8 trillion in spending cuts in entitlement programs and
passage by the House and Senate of the balanced budget amendment which
requires two-thirds majorities in both chambers.
Reid has scorched the House GOP plan’s balanced budget requirement
Reid’s own plan would cut spending by $2.4 trillion over ten years
and allow for passage of a $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase.
Reid has said he will move to table Boehner’s bill when it arrives
in the Senate later in the evening. He then hopes to enter into intense
talks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on a compromise plan.
The final package is likely to blend aspects of the Boehner and Reid
The U.S. has already reached its $14.29 trillion debt ceiling.
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has said that Congress must pass
legislation increasing the debt ceiling by August 2.
** Market News International Washington Bureau: (202) 371-2121 **