With only two days left before the Treasury runs out of authority to borrow money, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday afternoon that a deal to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown was “still far off.”
Carney said during his daily briefing that while the administration was “encouraged by the progress we’ve seen in the Senate … we’re far from a deal at this point.”
House Republican leaders pulled the plug Tuesday afternoon on their own plan that they had announced only hours before. House GOP leaders said the plan they floated, which would deprive members of Congress, the president, the vice president and White House political appointees of government contributions when they buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act’s new exchanges, would likely fail to muster enough votes.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that House Republicans had made “no decisions about what exactly we will do.” Said Boehner: “We’re trying to find a way forward in a bipartisan way that would continue to provide fairness to the American people under Obamacare.”
The Wall Street Journal quoted a House Republican aide as saying that leaders were making changes to the proposal after getting feedback from rank-and-file members. “Some members suggested specific changes on a handful of issues that would increase support, and leaders are discussing those suggestions now,” the aide told the Journal.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the Senate had been “blindsided” by the House GOP plan. He called the plan “an extreme bill [that] is nothing more than a blatant attack on bipartisanship.”
Hopes were raised over the weekend that a deal was at hand as Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., were attempting to reach an agreement. Reid said Tuesday that “the measure [that was] under discussion in the House is no part of what we’ve negotiated here in the Senate.”