–House Minority Whip: Accuses House GOP Of ‘Political Hostage Taking’
–‘Very Few’ House Democrats Will Back Boehner Debt Plan
–Doesn’t Like Reid Plan, But Sees It As ‘Way Out’ of Crisis
–‘I Don’t Remember A Time Like This Before — Ever’

By John Shaw

WASHINGTON (MNI) – House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer Tuesday said
he’s not sure if House Speaker John Boehner will be able to round up
enough votes in the House to pass his new debt ceiling plan.

At a briefing, Hoyer said he expects “very few” Democrats to
support the new House GOP plan.

Asked if Boehner will be able to secure the necessary votes to pass
his plan in the House, Hoyer smiled broadly and said “We’ll see.”

Hoyer said Boehner could have reached an agreement with President
Obama on a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan but decided to “walk away”
from the negotiations.”

Hoyer said the GOP in the House is now dominated by a radical right
wing faction that is engaged in the “political hostage taking of

The Republican party is now dominated by a “psychology that refuses
to compromise,” Hoyer said.

“I don’t remember a time like this before — ever,” he said,
recalling his 30 years in Congress.

Hoyer said he believes the only resolution to the debt hike crisis
is the adoption of a plan like that drafted by Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid.

Hoyer said the Reid plan is “not the plan I would have been for,”
but added that it may be the best that can be passed now.

Reid’s plan cuts spending by $2.7 trillion over ten years and
allows for passage of a $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase.

Reid’s plan calls for $1.2 trillion in discretionary savings, $1
trillion from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $400
billion in interest savings and $100 billion in entitlement savings.

The House is expected to vote on Boehner’s plan Wednesday.
Boehner’s plan would raise the debt ceiling by $1 trillion this year and
$1.6 trillion next year. The initial $1 trillion debt ceiling increase
would require Congress to pass $1.2 trillion in spending cuts through
imposing 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.

Under Boehner’s plan, the House and Senate would also have to vote
on a balanced budget constitutional amendment between this October and
the end of the year.

Some conservative Republicans in the House say the Boehner plan is
not sufficiently hard-line.

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 **

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