Our Remote Support Tool



What can we do for you?


Live Support

Live chat with a technician or call us @ (585) 568-7755

Obama: ‘We are almost out of time’

Click to play
Boehner doesn’t have enough GOP support

  • The House calls off a Thursday vote on the Boehner plan
  • House Republicans and Senate Democrats call Friday caucus meetings
  • Sen. Reid promises to defeat the Boehner plan, assuming it passes the House
  • Failure by Congress to raise the debt ceiling by August 2 risks a possible default

Washington (CNN) — Speaker John Boehner’s plan that would raise the nation’s debt ceiling and enact sweeping cuts in government spending could come up for a vote on Friday after House Republicans called off a vote late Thursday.

“Members are advised that there will be NO VOTES in the House tonight,” said a message from House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s office. “We apologize for the late notice.”

The delay in voting on the proposal revealed a deep rift within the GOP that could undermine the party’s latest attempt to avoid an unprecedented national default and stave off potential economic catastrophe.

Boehner, R-Ohio, was unable to muster sufficient support from his own caucus to guarantee his proposal would pass in the face of expected unified Democratic opposition. Even if the Boehner plan does pass the House, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, has promised the Democratic-controlled Senate will block it.

Can Obama invoke 14th Amendment?

In debt fight, what’s the next move?

Who’s to blame for debt ceiling debacle?

Democrat: GOP ‘shockingly irresponsible’

McCarthy’s announcement came more than four hours after the House had been expected to vote on the Boehner plan. The House Republican caucus then announced a previously unscheduled meeting for 10 a.m. Friday.

In an indication of the seriousness of the debt ceiling issue in Congress, Reid also announced that Senate Democrats will hold their own meeting at the same time.

Democratic leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi accused the Republicans of taking the country to “the brink of economic chaos,” saying they needed to come back to “the table to negotiate a bipartisan, balanced agreement.”

The tone was similar from Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who said Thursday’s developments should be a “wakeup” call to the “intransigent Republican majority” in the House.

“Now that his attempt at partisan politicking has failed, I hope that Speaker Boehner will finally join with President Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders in a serious way to enact bipartisan legislation to prevent an historic and catastrophic default on the United States’ debt,” she said.

The mood at the White House was described as one of frustration after the postponement, according to an administration official, who said another day was lost without progress on the issue.

Debt ceiling deadlock: Who will get paid?

Earlier, Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-New York, who supports the Boehner plan, told CNN that some members “have had a lot of deep thinking to do” about their votes, and said the delay might be to confirm “the last few” supporting votes.

Few if any Democrats were expected to back the measure. Assuming House Democrats remain united against the bill, Boehner will need the support of at least 216 of the House’s 240 Republicans.

Defeat of the measure would be a major setback for Boehner, who assumed his post in January, and further muddy the already tense negotiations over a deficit reduction deal that would also increase the federal borrowing limit. In particular, it would show Boehner was unable to control the tea party conservatives elected last year in a Republican wave that delivered a GOP majority in the House and his ascension to speaker.

Whether Boehner can push the measure through remains an open question. Tea party-backed conservatives staged a virtual revolt against the bill over the last several days, complaining that it doesn’t do enough to shrink the size of government and stem the tide of Washington’s red ink.

Sen. Paul: Balanced budget ‘all we want’

Senate moderates unhappy with choices

Obama’s options – if there is no deal

John McCain taking on the tea party?

U.S. debt crisis is Japan’s deja vu

“We don’t have the votes yet, (but) we’re going to get it passed,” Boehner declared Thursday morning to his caucus, according to one Republican source who spoke on condition of not being identified.

Some Republicans have said this will be their last, best proposal. Senate Democrats, however, have warned the plan is dead on arrival on their side of Capitol Hill even if it passes the House.

Reid declared that the Senate was prepared to immediately vote on — and defeat — the speaker’s plan, assuming the House approves it.

“There are things that either side cannot get,” Reid said Thursday morning, adding that Republicans need to “accept that and move on.” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, called Boehner’s proposal “a futile gesture.”

GOP leaders responded by accusing the Democrats of playing political games.

“When is somebody on the other side of the aisle going to say yes?” Boehner asked. “We have a reasonable, responsible (plan). Let’s pass this bill and end this crisis.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, warned that “Democrats are playing with fire here.”

“It’s hard to conclude that they’re doing it for any other reason than politics,” he said.

iReport: Share your thoughts on debt ceiling stalemate

White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley told CNN on Thursday that, presuming the Boehner plan wins House approval and gets blocked in the Senate, the next step is for everyone “to take a step back in the Congress and look at where is a point of compromise.”

Daley said that similarities between the Boehner plan and a competing proposal offered by Reid “may be the grounds for a deal that, hopefully, both parties can pass.”

Both the House and Senate planned to work through the weekend, and officials say ongoing behind-the-scene talks will continue.

As the political maneuvering continues, the clock continues to tick down. If Congress fails to raise the current $ 14.3 trillion debt ceiling by August 2, Americans could face rising interest rates and a declining dollar, among other problems.

Some financial experts have warned of a downgrade of America’s triple-A credit rating and a potential stock market plunge. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped for a fifth straight day on Thursday.

Without an increase in the debt limit, the federal government will not be able to pay all its bills next month. President Barack Obama recently indicated he can’t guarantee Social Security checks will be mailed out on time.

Leaders of both parties now agree that any deal to raise the debt ceiling should include long-term spending reductions to help control spiraling deficits. But they differ sharply on both the nature and timetable of the cuts. Republicans are seeking another vote on the debt ceiling before the 2012 election; Democrats call the demand a political nonstarter and economically destabilizing.

Beneath the harsh partisan rhetoric, there have been signs of a growing recognition of a need for further compromise. McConnell called Tuesday for renewed negotiations with Obama, and indicated that his party must be willing to move away from some of its demands.

Sources close to the negotiations have told CNN that Vice President Joe Biden is very much in the mix of the back-channel conversations that are occurring on a possible fallback position.

Obama made a nationally televised plea for compromise Monday night.

A CNN/ORC International Poll reveals a growing public exasperation and demand for compromise. Sixty-four percent of respondents to a July 18-20 survey preferred a deal with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Only 34% preferred a debt reduction plan based solely on spending reductions.

According to the poll, the public is sharply divided along partisan lines; Democrats and independents are open to a number of different approaches because they think a failure to raise the debt ceiling would cause a major crisis for the country. Republicans, however, draw the line at tax increases, and a narrow majority of them oppose raising the debt ceiling under any circumstances.

CNN’s Ted Barrett, Kate Bolduan, Gloria Borger, Keating Holland, Brianna Keilar, Jeanne Sahadi, Xuan Thai, Jessica Yellin and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.


Comments are closed.