America

Democratic Whip: There 'May Be No Democrats' Voting For GOP Plan

The Democratic Whip in the House says it's likely that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will not get any votes from Democrats for the debt plan he presented earlier this week and is planning on putting up for a vote tomorrow.

"What Boehner is offering is a short term, interim solution, which will continue to keep us in this position," said Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) in an interview with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel.

Boehner has spent all day trying to keep his party in line and ensure he has enough Republican votes to get the bill through the House. The problem is that the plan is not popular with the Tea Party faction of the GOP. It was widely reported that in a closed-door meeting today Boehner issued a stern command to Republican House members to get behind the plan he announced earlier this week.

Politico reports Boehner saying: "This is the bill. I can't do this job unless you're behind me."

As we reported earlier, House Deputy Whip Tom Cole (R-OK) said he could gather the 218 votes needed to pass the bill without any Democratic support.

But listening to Hoyer and Cole, it doesn't look like there's much movement toward a deal. Hoyer said the plan introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is what he'll vote for and Cole said it was Boehner's plan that he'll vote for.

Robert asked if there was any hope. Hoyer said Reid's bill, which "does exactly what Boehner ... wanted" was the hope.

Hoyer, like Cole, said he did not intend to let the country default. And if faced with a default, he would vote for a clean bill that only raises the debt ceiling.

Robert also spoke today with Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), one of the House members opposed to the Boehner plan.

Huelskamp said he is a "certain 'no'" on the Boehner proposal, questioned the exact date the government would run short of funds to cover all of its bills and emphasized his belief that fundamental changes are needed in how government does business.

The Kansas Republican said that the goal of the Congress must be to balance the budget, not to merely slow the rate of deficit spending.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.