October 15, 2013

UPDATE: Reports are that Heritage Action of Jim DeMint-run Heritage Foundation told Boehner to pull the bill, and he did it.

All afternoon, I kept trying to write about this, and then something else would happen. Here's the latest:

WASHINGTON — Negotiations to reopen the government and avert a possible default just two days away were temporarily suspended Tuesday, and Senate Republicans emerged from a closed-door lunch saying they had to wait to see if their struggling House counterparts could still come up with their own plan.

House Republican leaders, who had appeared stymied in their efforts earlier in the day, rushed out a new proposal Tuesday afternoon that would reopen the government through Dec. 15, extend the government’s borrowing authority until Feb. 7 and eliminate government contributions to lawmakers, White House officials and their staffs for their purchases of health insurance on the new insurance exchanges.

Under the new plan, the Treasury Department would be forbidden to use “extraordinary measures” — juggling government accounts — to extend its borrowing capabilities. Speaker John A. Boehner was hoping to bring a bill to a vote as early as Tuesday evening.

The continuing efforts by the House to reach agreement on a proposal put a halt to talks in the Senate after negotiators had appeared to be closing in on a deal. Stock markets dipped as meetings continued on Capitol Hill and at the White House. But for the moment, the attention had returned to the House and whether Mr. Boehner could come up with a proposal that would attract enough support.

“The focus today is on the House of Representatives and whether they can cobble something together that gets 218 votes,” said Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee.

The day began with a setback for Mr. Boehner, who emerged from a two-hour meeting of his fractious caucus to say that the leadership had failed to produce a path forward, soon after it released the framework of a plan to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

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