July 27th, 2011
09:20 PM ET

House vote on Republican debt plan set for Thursday

Washington (CNN) - Competing Democratic and Republican plans to reduce federal deficits and raise the debt ceiling were subjected to a fresh round of criticism Wednesday, as signs of disarray emerged in a House Republican caucus split between unhappy conservatives and a leadership struggling to maintain party unity.

"Get your ass in line," House Speaker John Boehner told his fellow Republicans in the face of divisive infighting over his latest proposal, two GOP sources who attended a Wednesday morning meeting told CNN on condition of not being identified.

The House scheduled a vote on the plan for Thursday in what will be a major test for whether the GOP caucus can push through the Boehner measure in the face of an expected unified Democratic opposition. Republicans hold 240 of the 433 votes to be cast and need 217 of their members to support the plan for it to pass. Two House seats are currently vacant.

Meanwhile, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that revisions to Boehner's plan would bring a total of $915 billion in savings over 10 years, an increase of about $65 billion over the initial version. With the revisions, Boehner's proposal - which calls for an immediate $900 billion increase in the debt ceiling - now meets his pledge to match any debt ceiling hike with dollar-for-dollar spending cuts.

However, a letter Wednesday from Senate Democrats said the Republican plan has no chance of passing the Senate. For their part, top Republicans called the Democratic plan a nonstarter.

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

As the cost of borrowing rises, individual mortgages, car loans and student loans could become significantly more expensive. Some financial analysts have warned of a potential stock market crash and a downgrade of America's triple-A credit rating.

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

With no deal in sight and six days before potential default, the Dow Jones Industrial average fell 198 points on Wednesday.

Updated: 9:20 pm

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Perk

    Has Senator Boehner looked at the Penny Mack Plan ? Support the best out of every plan. Have all these politicians sat down together to compare and contrast all plans or are they only selling their party plan ? Where is the American combination economic plan that gets we the people on Main Street the best out of every plan ? What are we getting and how will it effect Main Street ? Cause and Effects ?

    July 28, 2011 at 1:16 am |
  2. Scott

    I THINK I WILL START A NEW POLITICAL PARTY. – REPUBLOCRAT.. A REPUBLOCRAT SIMPLY WANTS A BALANCED BUDGET ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND AT THE SAME TIME TAX THE RICH. seriously.. tax the billionaires and millionaires. they can afford it.. not us working people who make those people millionaires and billionaires.. REPUBLOCRAT party. and our sympbol is.. THE MONKEY.. 🙂

    July 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm |