Deidre Shesgreen reports:
WASHINGTON—After a closed-door meeting with his GOP troops, House Speaker John Boehner’s efforts to counter an emerging Senate plan to reopen the government and avert a debt crisis had collapsed.
The West Chester Republican is once again in familiar territory—with hard-line conservatives lukewarm about his new proposal and Senate Democrats unabashedly opposed.
Before Boehner even had a chance to outline the proposal in public, it disintegrated because GOP leaders realized they couldn’t win enough GOP votes for it to pass the House.
Here’s what Boehner said instead at a news conference Tuesday morning: “There are a lot of opinions about what direction to go. There have been no decisions about what exactly we will do.”
The government shutdown, now in its 15th day, began when House Republicans refused to advance a stopgap funding bill unless it included provisions to delay or defund the Affordable Care Act. That fight has now spilled into a parallel battle over raising the debt ceiling. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said the U.S. will stop being able to meet all of its financial obligations on time by Oct. 17 if Congress does not increase the nation’s borrowing authority.
On Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, crafted a tentative deal to fund federal agencies through Jan.15 and raise the debt limit through Feb. 7.