Republicans have officially announced their plans on the coming budget battles over bills to keep the government funded and raise the debt ceiling.
House Speaker John Boehner said in a press conference that the House will pass a continuing-resolution bill Friday that keeps spending at sequestration levels and strips funding for the Affordable Care Act, giving into demands from the conservative wing of the caucus. It will go to the Senate, where it will be dead on arrival.
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) told reporters Wednesday that if the Senate kicks back the continuing-resolution bill, the back up plan is to pass a “clean” continuing-resolution and then trade a year’s delay in Obamacare for a a one-year hike in the debt ceiling.
Boehner said that a vote on the debt ceiling could come as “soon as next week.”
The debt ceiling legislation will also include such items as instructions for tax reform and urging the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, according to Politico.
Though Boehner said there should be “no conversation” about shutting the government down, the reaction from the other side was swift.
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer tweeted that the ‘Hastert Rule’ should be renamed the ‘the Cruz Rule,’ referring to the demands of the “defund Obamacare” movement that has been led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lamented in a floor speech that “bipartisanship is a thing of the past.”
But with the continuing-resolution bill, at least, GOP leadership is bringing “fantasy” into reality, and shifting the onus onto Cruz and Senate Republicans.
Animosity toward Cruz has been building up in the House, which feels that he’s putting pressure on them but doesn’t have a plan to pass a continuing-resolution with defunding in the Senate. By moving pressure to the Senate, they will show that a bill to defund Obamacare won’t pass.
It’s not likely, either, that the Senate will pass — or President Barack Obama will sign — a debt-ceiling increase that includes a delay in Obamacare.
“That would be a nice outcome,” one senior GOP aide said pessimistically.
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