House Postpones Action on Bill to Fund Government - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

House Postpones Action on Bill to Fund Government

Posted: Updated:

(FOX 11 / AP)

A key House panel has postponed any action on the latest GOP bill to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government.  No new action is set for today.

EARLIER

The divided government's increasingly urgent drive to prevent a Treasury default and end a 15-day partial government shutdown took a highly partisan turn Tuesday as House Republicans unveiled a proposal stocked with conservative priorities that the White House instantly rejected.

It was unclear whether House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP leadership had the votes to pass their measure, or whether it would even be brought to the House floor for a vote. Even so, the immediate result was to freeze Senate negotiations on a bipartisan compromise that had appeared ready to bear fruit.

The events prompted an outbreak of partisan rhetoric, mixed with urgent warnings that both the U.S. and global economies could suffer severe damage quickly unless Congress acted by Thursday.

Even something of an appeal for heavenly aid was thrown in, as Rep. Steve Southerland of Florida led House Republicans in a rendition of "Amazing Grace" at the beginning of a rank-and-file meeting called to discuss a way out of the impasse.

Describing his plan for reporters, Boehner said, "I have made clear for months and months that the idea of default is wrong and we shouldn't get anywhere close to it." Hinting at a lack of support from some fellow Republicans, he declined to predict that the measure would come to a vote by day's end.

Moments later, without naming names, White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said the House GOP proposal was designed to "appease a small group of tea party Republicans who forced the government shutdown in the first place. `' Despite its tone, the statement stopped short of a veto threat.

As described by officials, the House GOP proposal would give the Treasury authority to borrow normally through Feb. 7 and reopen the government with enough money to last until Jan. 15.

It would also suspend a medical device tax that is part of "Obamacare," a health care law that Republicans universally opposed when it passed Congress. In addition, it would impose tougher income verification standards on individuals who apply for federal subsidies provided for coverage.

As originally presented to the rank and file, the leadership's plan also stripped the president, vice president, members of the Cabinet and lawmakers of the standard employer contribution toward health care insurance, in their case, money from the government.

Officials said that in a move to pick up support from dissatisfied conservatives, that provision was expanded to cover aides to members of Congress as well. It could raise the out-of-pocket expense for health care coverage by thousands of dollars annually for individuals and families who are affected.

Not all Republicans sounded persuaded.

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., said he was not sure he could vote for the plan because it did not take steps to reduce the accumulation of federal debt. "I have to know a lot more than I know now," he said.

Democrats jumped on Boehner and the plan he produced.

In unusually personal remarks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Ohio Republican had "once again tried to preserve his role at the expense of the country."

That was too much for some Republicans who have been among those most vocal in calling for a bipartisan solution to the impasse.

"It's piling on and it's not right," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said of the response from the Democrats. "To categorically reject what the House and the speaker are doing - and I think he's pretty courageous in what he's doing - in my view is not serving the American people."

The House had been effectively sidelined in recent days as Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell engaged in intense negotiations to reopen the government and raise the debt limit.

That changed emphatically when details began circulating of some of the elements of the terms under discussion.

In addition to ending the shutdown and raising the debt limit, the two Senate leaders were considering a plan to delay a $63-per-person fee that Obamacare would impose on anyone who receives health care coverage under an employer-provided plan.

Some Republicans balked, complaining that was a concession to labor unions who are among the Democrats' most loyal political supporters.

Many unions have announced their opposition to the fee, but so, too, have businesses.

Reid and McConnell also have been discussing provisions to give federal agencies flexibility in adjusting to across-the-board spending cuts imposed under legislation that Obama signed in 2011.

Another element of their negotiations would call for House-Senate negotiations on a possible deficit reduction measure to take the place of the across-the-board cuts.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Mexico's president to visit California next week

    Mexico's president to visit California next week

    Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is coming to California at the invitation of Gov. Jerry Brown, less than a month after Brown visited his country.
    Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is coming to California at the invitation of Gov. Jerry Brown, less than a month after Brown visited his country.
  • Obama Faces Tough Options In Regards To Iraq and Syria

    Obama Faces Tough Options In Regards To Iraq and Syria

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:12 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:12:15 GMT
    At the heart of President Barack Obama's quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria. The president may continue helping Iraqi forces try to reverse the group's land grabs in northern Iraq by providing more arms and American military advisers and by using U.S. warplanes to support Iraqi ground operations.
    At the heart of President Barack Obama's quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria. The president may continue helping Iraqi forces try to reverse the group's land grabs in northern Iraq by providing more arms and American military advisers and by using U.S. warplanes to support Iraqi ground operations.
  • US Special Forces Tried But Failed To Find Hostages

    US Special Forces Tried But Failed To Find Hostages

    Thursday, August 21 2014 10:11 AM EDT2014-08-21 14:11:04 GMT
    President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, officials say.
    President Barack Obama sent special operations troops to Syria this summer on a secret mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, held by Islamic State extremists, but they did not find them, officials say.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices