John Boehner

Photo: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The House of Representatives postponed a vote on Speaker of the House John Boehner’s plan to raise the debt limit Thursday night, due to a revolt from the tea party.Boehner pulled his plan off the House floor around 5:15 after it became clear he could not reach the 216 vote requirement with Republican votes. By 10:25, he had determined it could not pass in its current form.

Boehner will now revise the bill to bring more GOP votes on board.

Democrats have pledged to oppose the plan in the Senate, while the White House has called the vote a “waste of time.”

Regardless, this is proving to be the pivotal moment in Boehner’s speakership.

Read our live-blog of Thursday’s events below:

11:34pm | That’s it for our live-blog tonight folks.
We’ll be back tomorrow morning with the latest fallout from tonight’s mayhem. 

11:27pm | Nancy Pelosi statement:
“Hopefully, now the Republicans will come back to the table to negotiate a bipartisan, balanced agreement.”

11:18pm | The House Rules Committee is currently debating a rule to allow the Boehner bill to be brought up on Friday altered to make it more palatable to the GOP no-votes.
Per committee spokeswoman Jo Maney: Rules is reporting a “same day” rule thru 8/2. Allows anything reported from Rules to go straight to the floor rather than waiting a day.

10:51pm | We’re hearing a big sticking point for GOP “no votes” was funding for Pell grants for college students included in the Boehner bill. They may be stripped out by Boehner to get more votes.

10:48pm | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the delay:
“We’ve been waiting for the House to conduct their business and now we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to do our work.”

10:45pm | POLITICO is reporting that House Republicans are meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday to regroup.
Democratic Senators will also hold a caucus meeting at 10 a.m. Friday.

10:44pm | Futures are down on the news.

10:38pm | The House Rules Committee will hold an emergency meeting tonight to allow changes to the Boehner bill so that it can be voted on tomorrow. 

10:38pm | Tonight’s events raise serious doubts about Speaker Boehner’s ability to lead his caucus as these negotiations continue.

10:35pm | Luke Russert on MSBNC: “A real shocker out of Washington … This is a huge setback … They can’t get their own members on board.”.

10:30pm | The delay makes reaching a deal to raise the debt limit by August 2nd more remote, as the Senate is likely to amend the Boehner bill and send it back to the House for a final vote.

10:25pm | GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy says there will be no vote tonight on the Boehner plan to raise the debt ceiling.

10:24pm | On CNN Steny Hoyer is asked if Boehner can survive.
“I don’t know the answer to that,” he replied.

10:07pm | On MSNBC Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said he is “enraged” at this “dysfunctional spectacle.”
Hoyer says nearly all Democrats would vote for Reid bill in the House, and that they would need 20 to 30 Republicans to join them.

Hoyer just backed the idea of Obama invoking the 14th Amendment to resolve the debt fight.

Hoyer: “I don’t know that I’ve been as concerned about the welfare of our country as I am tonight”

10:05pm | On Fox News just now, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) just said Boehner’s speakership is at stake in this vote.
McCain says the endgame is the House passes the Boehner bill, it comes to the Senate, and then Boehner, Reid, and McConnell work something out.

9:51pm | House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy just sent an alert: “Thank you for your patience. We hope to reach a decision soon on the schedule for the rest of night.”

He adds he still expects a vote tonight.

9:45pm | Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) still no votes on the Boehner plan despite arm-twisting.

9:38pm | The Boehner bill “tweaks” may include cuts to Pell grants for college students and/or tougher requirements for a balanced budget amendment we’re hearing.

9:22pm | Tea Party Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) explains why GOP representatives are opposing the Boehner plan:
“Why compromise your principles on something that isn’t going to become law,” he told Fox News. 

He added that the ultimate solution to raising the debt limit will be “some amalgamation of the Boehner plan and the Reid plan.”

Paul added that 10-14 GOP Senators would vote against the Boehner plan. All 53 Democrats and democrat-caucusing Independents have pledged to vote no on the plan as well.

9:06pm | Boehner may “tweak” bill for more votes.
POLITICO is reporting Speaker of the House John Boehner may modify his bill to help him his bill gain support of the hold-outs. The Speaker would send the bill back to the House Rules Committee for unspecified “tweaks” the report says.

Going back to the Rules Committee would take hours — perhaps all night — and it remains unclear if/when the House will vote on the Boehner bill tonight.

8:59pm | Boehner denies seeking to force GOP lawmaker from his seat over opposition to debt limit plan.
In a statement to POLITICO, Boehner said he is not working to unseat Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) who is very publicly opposing the Speaker’s plan.

8:49pm | Rep. Allen West (R-FL) tells reporters he’s hearing “2 votes short”.

8:41pm | If Boehner can’t get a vote is he done as Speaker?.
Boehner has wagered untold amount of political capital on this vote — including threatening GOP members with redistricting them out of office. If his plan fails, it’s an open question whether he will have the legitimacy to lead his caucus going forward in these negotiations.

8:36pm | We’re still holding for a vote.
The Hill whip count shows no sign of movement. 25 GOP representatives are still no/lean-no votes on the Boehner bill. GOP leadership still promise a vote tonight. 

8:18pm | Apple Has More Cash On Hand Than The U.S. Government.

No joke.

8:12pm | On MSNBC White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterates the President’s Boehner bill veto threat. 
He says it’s a moot point, “because it will never get out of the Senate.”



8:10pm | Cantor’s spokesman tells reporters the vote on Boehner bill still happening tonight…”before tomorrow”..

8:04pm | Boehner just walked out of McCarthy’s office. “You know I’m not answering any questions guys”, The Fiscal Times’ Jen DePaul tweets.

8:00pm | 100 HOURS.

7:57pm | Waiting game.
Boehner is now huddling with senior leadership in the office of Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, bringing in “no” votes to press them to at least vote “present” on his bill. So far it does not seem to be working.

The latest whip count from The Hill shows 25 GOP representatives ready or leaning toward voting no on the bill. Boehner can lose no more than 24 votes for the bill to pass without Democratic support.

7:44pm | Senate in recess.
Harry Reid says he doesn’t expect a vote until 9 PM at earliest, Senate gaveled out until then.

7:37pm | The White House continues to call this vote irrelevant.
Chairman of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling said as much on CNN minutes ago.

7:36pm | We’re in a holding pattern now. Cantor’s office says there will be a vote, but it is not clear when it might occur.

7:17pm | Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) going into GOP Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office tells reporters the only way he’d not vote no is if “the lord take me home right now.

7:07pm | Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) on CNN: “We’re all behind our Speaker, we’re all behind Eric Cantor”. 
He’s one of the “no” votes on the Boehner plan.


7:00pm | The Senate is waiting.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has extended “morning business” in the Senate until 8:30 tonight. He hopes to vote on the Boehner bill immediately, if it clears the House.

6:49pm | House now in recess–subject to call of the chair as Boehner meets with lawmakers. This means that the House has run out of things to stall the vote on the Boehner bill with, so it will take a break.

6:39pm | At this point, even if the Boehner plan passes, this will be remembered as a MAJOR embarrassment for the Speaker. He shouldn’t have to twist arms to pass his own bill with a 49-vote majority.

6:21pm | Praying:
Rep. Jeff Duncan tells reporters he is heading to the Member’s chapel to pray about vote. “I think they need it.” He adds he’s a no.

6:17pm | White House reaction.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer tweets: “Clock ticks towards August 2, House is naming post offices, while leaders twist arms for a pointless vote. No wonder people hate Washington.”

6:09pm | Palin’s veiled threat.
In a Facebook message to House GOP freshmen, Sarah Palin threatend primary challenges if they did not live up to their pledges from the 2010 campaign.

Read here note here

6:02pm | Boehner leaning on GOP.
After meeting Boehner, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) tells Fox News he’s a “bloody, beaten down no.”

5:53pm | Clearly enjoying Speaker Boehner face difficulty rounding up votes...
Reid Spokesman Adam Jentleson tweets: “The Senate stands ready to defeat the Boehner plan whenever House Republicans can get their act together.”

5:46pm | The House of Representatives is now voting to name post offices, as Boehner bill is on hold.

5:43pm | The Boehner bill is officially pulled off the floor.
It is unclear when a vote will be scheduled.

5:36pm | Vote will still be tonight:
Cantor’s office says vote will still be tonight.

5:31pm | Short on votes?
The Hill is reporting 25 GOP representatives will vote against or are likely to vote against the Boehner bill — enough no votes to kill the bill with no Democratic support.

5:29pm | Vote Postponed:
All House votes are postponed indefinitely. Developing…

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office tells The Hill that the vote will be ‘a little bit later than expected. The measure will still be voted on tonight.’

5:12pm | Today’s teary GOP caucus meeting.
The New York Times reports on the GOP’s caucus meeting today saying there wasn’t a dry eye in the room after one lawmaker read a sentimental story from a constituent — including Speaker John Boehner. As Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY) said, “Everyone was verklempt.”

5:10pm | Sen Joe Manchin (D-VA) will vote against both the Reid and Boehner plans.

5:08pm | Obama, Boehner not on speaking terms?
White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley tells CNN that Obama hasn’t spoken to Boehner “in a few days.” 

5:03pm | The Senate vote on the Boehner plan wouldn’t technically kill it.
The Washington Post reports Reid will file a motion to table the bill — the same thing he did for the House’s “Cut, Cap, and Balance” bill. After that he could amend it with his proposal and send it back to the House, vote on it again, or leave it tabled indefinitely.

4:46pm | The House of Representatives will be in session this weekend, Eric Cantor announces.

4:45pm | Whip Count Update:
National Journal is now reporting 23 Republican representatives will oppose the Boehner plan. Boehner can lose no more than 24 GOP votes, as all Democrats appear to be voting against the bill.

4:02pm | Senate likely to vote on Reid bill Friday or Saturday.

3:59pm | Democratic Aides tell CBS no Democratic votes on Boehner bill.
Jill Jackson tweets: “Democratic aides confirm that the 5 D’s who voted for Cut, Cap and Balance will vote no on the Boehner debt plan today.”

3:43pm | NO DEFAULT:
Bloomberg is reporting that the Treasury Department will pay bondholders first in the event the debt limit isn’t raised.

3:39pm | Whip Count update:
National Journal is now reporting that 22 GOP representatives are firm no votes against the Boehner plan, while 4 are leaning against it. Boehner can afford to lose no more than 24 GOP votes for his bill to pass without Democratic support.

3:32pm | Boehner threatens GOP lawmaker’s seat.
Speaker of the House John Boehner is upping the pressure of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to vote for his bill to raise the debt limit, by threatening to have him redistricted out of his seat.

Read more at the Columbus Dispatch

3:14pm | House Minority Whip rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on the House Floor:
“There will be no Democrats for this bill, because bipartisanship was not sought.”

3:03pm | Boehner pulling out all the stops:
Speaker of the House John Boehner is meeting with anyone he has to in order to reach 216 votes. POLITICO reports he is holding 1-on-1 meetings with on-the-fence representatives in his ornate ceremonial office to convince them to back his plan.

3:02pm | Whip count update:
National Journal is reporting 21 GOP representatives will vote against the Boehner plan. The latest to oppose it is Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC. 

2:31pm | Whip Count update:
National Journal has 20 GOP representatives voting against the Boehner plan. The Hill reports 22 are voting against or leaning in that direction.

Boehner can lose no more than 24 GOP votes for his bill to pass without any Democratic support.

1:58pm | The House will soon begin debate on the Boehner bill.
The vote to agree to the rule to begin debate will pass on a straight party-line vote.

Update: Debate to begin around 3pm.

1:51pm | Boehner takes questions.
Boehner repeats that his bill was “put together by the bipartisan leadership.”

“This caucus has moved a great deal in a short amount of time,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip. He repeats that GOP does not have the votes required at this time.

Boehner says “It’s time for someone in this town to say yes.”

He adds, “We’re going to pass a very responsible answer to this crisis”

When asked if his bill would prevent a downgrade, Boehner replied “that’s beyond my control.”

1:41pm | House Majority Leader Eric Cantor:
Cantor: “Harry Reid can’t have it both ways.”

Cantor: Reid has three options: Default, Cut, Cap and Balance, and our compromise bill

GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy adds “The momentum is moving in our direction”

1:39pm | Boehner speaking now.
“Today the House will take action again.”

“After today, the House will have sent to the Senate not 1 but 2 bills that would reduce spending & end this crisis”

“The bill isn’t perfect. I’ve never said it’s perfect and no one in my caucus believes it’s perfect.”

1:37pm | The House of Representatives is not voting on the rule to debate the Boehner bill.

1:22pm | Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on the debt limit debate.
The GOP candidate says she will still vote no on any plan to raise the debt limit. 

“The plans for the raising of the debt limit, all of them begin with the flawed assumption that we must raise the debt ceiling.”

1:17pm | Reid Spokesman on Boehner bill:.
Adam Jentleson tweets: “Boehner’s bill dies tonight. Forever.”

1:03pm | White House Communications Director Dan Pfieffer on MSNBC just now:
“There aren’t that many critical differences between the Reid plan and the Boehner plan” other than short term, long term debt limit hike.

12:47pm | Schumer says no “tweaks”
On the Senate Floor, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says Senate will not pass Boehner bill nor will it “take it and tweak it and pass it.”

12:44pm | Reid says Senate will vote on Boehner bill.
Reid: The Senate will take up the Boehner bill, “but it will be defeated.”

Reid: “I believe it is time for the tea party Republicans to stop resisting compromise.”

12:40pm | We’re hearing reports that Senator harry Reid will make an announcement on the Senate floor momentarily. Not sure what it is yet.

12:36pm | Whip count stands at 20 No’s on Boehner plan.
National Journal reports that 20 GOP lawmakers will vote against the plan, with 3 more leaning no. The Hill has 21 voting or leaning no.

Boehner got a little wiggle room as the threshold was lowered from 217 to 216 as two representatives are out sick today.

12:34pm | Only in Washington:
The House has begun debating the rule setting out the parameters for this afternoon’s debate on the Boehner plan to raise the debt limit. It will vote on the rule at about 2:30, with the final vote scheduled for 6-7pm tonight.


12:21pm | Exhaustion:
Tea Party stalwart Sen Mike Lee (R-UT) tells ABC News on debt deal: I “just want this deal done.” 

He added: “I do think deal gets done before Aug. 2.”

11:55am | Carney on compromise:
He calls the current disagreements between the Reid and Boehner plans are “solvable.” 


11:54am | On uncertainty:
Carney: There is nothing comparable to the type of uncertainty this has created.

11:49am | Carney on August 3rd:
Carney calls post-August 2nd period without a debt limit increase a “crisis situation.”

He added that “we are not at that point” — near enough to a “grand bargain” to support a short term debt limit increase.

11:47am | Can the Reid plan reach 60?
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) told Fox News earlier today: 

“Senator Reid has a plan here, but I think it’s likely that at this moment that won’t get cloture, won’t get 60 votes.” 

11:44am | More on GOP Freshmen:
Carney calls Republicans who want “to stick default on the president,” “incredibly juvenile,”  Says they should be looking for ways to compromise

11:40am | Carney on the Grand Bargain:
Chances aren’t great for “sweeping compromise.”

11:36am | More Whip Counts:
National Journal is reporting that 19 Republicans are “no” votes on the Boehner plan. He can lose no more than 23 for his proposal to pass the House without Democratic support.

11:32am | More from Carney:
We are opposed to a short term increase “for economic reasons, not for political reasons.”

Carney says Democrats are winning the debt ceiling debate on the merits

Carney says “anything is possible” when asked if Obama will speak on the debt debate today.

He adds that Republicans have “created a hostage situation when it comes to the economy.'”

Carney reiterates that the Boehner bill “ain’t going anywhere in the United States Senate.”

11:32 am | White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on the Debt Limit.
Carney says “if there is the political will” a grand bargain could pass before August 2nd, otherwise the Reid plan is a “starting point.”

He says the “primary objective” has to be to protect the economy, calling for a single increase to the debt limit.

Carney said the White House remains optimistic that cooler heads will prevail in Congress.

Carney says it would be “responsible governance” for Treasury to release its plans for after August 2nd as we get closer to that date. But he walked back his statement about prioritization of payments, “I implied things I didn’t mean to.”

Carney says “nothing will not be the alternative here — compromise will be the alternative here.”

On the Boehner bill: “This bill is a political act that has no life beyond its current existence in the House.”

11:07am | Pelosi is no fan of the Boehner bill.
She called “an ideological document,” adding a short-term extension is a “job killer.”

“The Boehner bill will not pass because it has no Democratic votes”

Pelosi says short term increase in the debt limit would mean “unending hardship” and “uncertainty”

Pelosi says the Boehner bill “will not pass,” But she would not rule out any Democratic votes for the bill, though she is not expecting any.

“We gave President Bush cooperation,” Pelosi said, calling for the same for President Obama.

“What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget,” she said. “We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”

11:02am | The White House Press Briefing is also about to begin.
Jay Carney takes the stage with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, who will talk about the ongoing FAA shutdown.

LaHood calls for a “clean” bill to continue funding the FAA so that the 4,000 furloughed employees can return to work.

All evidence to the contrary, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says “Washington can still get big things done” through compromise

LaHood says FAA projects “shouldn’t be held hostage” to gridlock in Congress.

He adds that he is not happy that airlines are pocketing FAA taxes.

Asked about the debt limit, Lahood adds “This is a time most of us who follow politics have never seen before.”


10:58am | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will hold her weekly press conference shortly. Stay tuned for updates.

10:32am | House Majority Leader Eric Cantor predicts that the Boehner plan will pass the House of Representatives today.

10:29am | About two-dozen House GOP Freshmen are holding a press conference in support of the Boehner bill.
They say they are encouraged that the House will vote on balanced budget amendment to the Constitution tomorrow.

There are reports that many “Cut, Cap, and Balance” pledge signers are backing the Boehner plan.

10:18am | The Club For Growth is still a “no” on the Boehner plan:
The conservative group says it will still count for their “scorecard.”

10:16am | McConnell “Shocked”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “shocked” all 53 Senate Democrats oppose the Boehner plan, which he calls the “only” measure that can become law.

McConnell again says one-shot debt limit increase is politically motivated, says he doesn’t believe Obama would actually veto.

“Democrats are playing with fire here, and it’s hard to conclude that they’re doing it for any other reason than politics,” he said.

10:06am | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid “we have five days remaining before a few extremist Republicans…drive the economy off a cliff”. 
Starting off the legislative day, Reid said “Yesterday’s bad economic news should be sign to Republicans who deny reality. Default will rock our financial system to its core.”

Reid quotes from Sen. John McCain’s speech criticising some Republican’s “foolish” positions on the debt limit.

Reid says he is open to meeting with more Republicans to “make the compromise bill even better.”

He adds: “Republicans cannot get the short-term, Band-Aid plan they are considering in the House today. It will not get 1 Democratic vote in the Senate.”

Reid says “Republicans should know..when to take their chips and walk away,” saying they should accept victory on no taxes and support his compromise plan.


9:58am | Boehner tells caucus they don’t yet have the votes on his debt ceiling plan.
POLITICO’s Jake Sherman reports Speaker of the House John Boehner told his caucus today that they currently don’t yet have the votes for his plan, but they will. Latest press whip counts should between 15 and 22 Republicans voting against the bill. Boehner also added that the House will also vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution tomorrow. 

9:39am | Boehner: “It’s a zippity doo dah day.
He appeared confident as GOP lawmakers began their caucus meeting. We should hear more when that finishes up in the next few minutes.

9:34am | Bank CEOs send letter to Congress and Obama:
They want a debt limit deal NOW. More here:

9:28am | An update on the timing of the Boehner vote:
Fox News’ Chad Pergram: Expect debate to start after 2:30 today. Final vote between 6:30 and 7:30 pm ET.

9:26am | Boehner staff: Where is Obama’s plan?
Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith tweets: Lot of talking from David Plouffe on MSNBC just now … but says nothing about WH plan to deal with debt crisis … #WhereIsTheirPlan?

9:20am | White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe to NBC News’ Chuck Todd:
“Americans are sick and tired” of the GOP’s “take it or leave it approach” to raising the debt limit.

He once again calls for raising the debt limit in one vote through the end of 2012. He says he expects a second stage of deficit reduction including entitlement and tax reform later this year.

He calls today’s vote on the Boehner plan “political theatre.”

9:06am | Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) on Bloomberg:  
“We will not run over on the debt ceiling,” he said, adding he is confident a deal will be reached before August 2nd.

9:04am | House Republicans are gathering in the Capitol basement now for a final meeting before the vote on the Boehner plan today.

Republican leadership will use the opportunity to again push GOP freshman to back the bill. They will also do a final “whip count” to be sure they have the 217 votes needed to pass the bill in the House.

According to The Hill, 22 Republicans are likely to vote against the Boehner plan. Boehner can lose no more than 23 votes for hill proposal to pass.

8:49am | Warner is not optimistic for the deficit reduction committee included in both the Reid and Boehner plans:
“I pray that I’m wrong,” he said, noting that the easy spending cuts are being made now. He predicted the “Super Committee” would end up in a 6-6 deadlock.

He called on Congress not to “punt” on the difficult decisions down the road, and to allow a vote on the “gang of six” proposal”

8:36am | Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) tells Mike Allen at this morning’s Playbook Breakfast he never imagined being this close to August 2nd without a deal:
“It is ridiculous that we are seeing this Kabuki theatre,” he said. “It’s the height of irresponsibility for us to be this close to the deadline.”

He added “All of us [in Congress] should be fired — if we go past August 2nd.”

Warner adds that a debt downgrade is the equivalent of a tax increase.

8:27am | Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist is facing tough questions on MSNBC’s Morning Joe right now.
Lawrence O’Donnell said the “no-tax pledge” signed “by a bunch of crazies.” O’Donnell declared Norquist “the most powerful man in the Republican party.” Norquist was central to killing the “grand bargain” earlier this month, rallying those who signed his pledge against any revenue increases in a deal to raise the debt limit.

8:24am | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to release a “tweaked” version of his plan to raise the debt limit this morning.
He said yesterday he would add more cuts to reach $2.4 trillion as scored by the Congressional Budget Office. His original proposal was found to have $2.2 trillion in cuts over 10 years including war savings. 

8:05am | Just how significant is a vote on the debt ceiling?
Like most questions in Washington it can be answered with a reference to NBC TV show “The West Wing.”

“So this debt ceiling thing is routine or the end of the world?” Toby Ziegler: “Both.” Watch the clip here.

8:01am | The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has this great chart showing just how similar the Boehner and Reid plans are.
Check it out here

7:55am | House to vote on Boehner plan this afternoon.
We’re expecting the vote around 6 p.m. or so tonight. The rest of the day’s schedule:

  • The Senate and House both convene at 10:00.
  • Freshman Republicans will hold a press conference in support of the Boehner plan at 10:30
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will hold a press conference at 10:45.
  • White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will brief the press at 11:00.
  • Speaker John Boehner and GOP leaders will hold a press conference at 1:30.

7:44am | Good Wednesday morning. 
It’s D-Day -5 and we may be moving closer to a deal. We will cross into the sub-100 hours range at 8 p.m. tonight.



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