Republican House Speaker John Boehner showed up this morning at a press conference to announce the House Republicans’ response to the shutdown / debt ceiling deal brokered last night between Senate leaders.
And… Boehner and company had absolutely nothing to say:
“There have been no decisions about what exactly we will do.”
The House GOP meeting was clearly in disarray. And House Speaker John Boehner didn’t even have the votes to pass his own too-extreme proposal that no one else would even agree to.
Some immediate reactions on Twitter to Boehner’s odd, 15-second statement:
HuffPostMedia: RT @ZekeJMiller: Pelosi: “What you saw here…was a Speaker who didn’t have the votes for his proposal”
brianbeutler: Reid: The House plan “can’t pass the Senate. It won’t pass the Senate.”
TheFix: Also, I am very confused. Boehner didn’t mentioned the alleged House GOP bill at all. So….
NoahCRothman: Bash: GOP in House does not have the votes to pass this plan. Evidently, conservatives still holding out for defund. Insane.
brianbeutler: Boehner didn’t sound very confident just now that his plan can pass.
DavidCornDC: Looks like Boehner still unable to lead his Republicans in any coherent direction. And he’s back to echoing far-right talking pts re Ocare
mmurraypolitics: RT @ktumulty: At news conference, House leaders talking about “fairness,” but blinking SOS in Morse code.
As I’d reported earlier, last night’s Senate deal included:
* Fund the government until January 15th, 2014.
* At the same time, budget negotiations start and finish by December 13th, 2013.
* And the debt ceiling, that expires this Thursday, would be lifted and extended through February 15th of 2014.
It also included income verification on Obamacare subsidies (I’m having a hard time believing we’re not already verifying people’s income eligibility for the subsidies) and a one year delay of the medical device tax because the medical device tax industry apparently lobbies very well.
As for the GOP counter-offer, it appears to include, among things, a provision to guarantee that we don’t avoid default next time the Republicans take the economy hostage.
According to Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post, “the GOP plan bans extraordinary measures to avert default, which is the precise opposite of the prioritization they call for.” Meaning, the GOP plan would forbid the President from prioritizing payments to US debt holders in the event we reach the debt ceiling and Congress has not raised it. In other words, the House Republicans want to ensure that if we reach the debt ceiling limit, we fall hard.
Essentially, the Republican party is demanding we sign a DNR (do not resuscitate) order for the entire US and world economy.
The House GOP offer also includes:
* Fund the government through January 15.
* Lift debt ceiling through February 7.
* Make President, VP, members of the Cabinet, and members of Congress find health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges and NOT make them eligible for the employer contribution to their monthly premiums (which means they’d have to pay what the rest of us using the exchanges without employer contributions pay). Congressional staff would still get the contribution.
Contrary to some of my progressive brethren, I’ve not been sympathetic to anyone in Congress getting this employer contribution. I’m not getting an employer contribution to my healthcare (or my retirement for that matter), let them experience the true cost of healthcare in America, then see how quick they are to poo-poo Democratic proposals to make healthcare cheaper and more effective.
* Delay medical device tax for two years.
Presumably the House offer would also include income verification for the subsidies.
The White House has already dismissed the House GOP’s proposal:
As for why revisit all of this in December and January, keep in mind that Republicans would like nothing better than to delay this entire battle for another year. That way the sequestration levels of funding for the federal government would continue. Democrats are hoping to get the government fully funded again.