July 28th, 2011
08:32 PM ET

House vote on GOP debt plan delayed

Washington (CNN) - House Republicans delayed a vote Thursday on Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling while enacting sweeping cuts in government spending, indicating a rift within the GOP could undermine the party's latest attempt to avoid an unprecedented national default and stave off potential economic catastrophe.

The delay showed Boehner was unable to muster sufficient support from his own caucus to guarantee his proposal would pass in the face of expected unified Democratic opposition.

It was unclear if the vote would occur on Thursday night. Influential House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said he expected the Boehner plan to eventually pass, but when asked about timing, answered: "I don't know the answer to that question."

"There is a delay. The reason has not been stated," Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-New York, who supports the plan, told CNN. Hayworth acknowledged 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.

After the announcement of the delay, conservative congressmen were seen entering and leaving Boehner's office as the speaker tried to generate the necessary support. A floor debate on the plan was cut short, and the House moved on to discuss the naming of a post office in Illinois.

Staff members were later seen carrying pizzas from a local restaurant into Boehner's office.

Defeat 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.

Earlier, Boehner declared to reporters that the measure would pass, but Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-California, only would say progress was being made in rounding up the votes.

Another speaker at the news conference, Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina, let slip there's more work to be done, calling on House colleagues "who may not be there yet" but were "moving forward on those votes."

The vote in the House had been scheduled for roughly 6 p.m. ET. 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.

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

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soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. jj

    correct me if im wrong but the presedent is doing what the government is set up to do...house pressents a bill... votes.. passes..goes to senete....debate....negotiate... change... vote... pass to presedent...revew.. sign or veto.
    why are so many people blaming the white house... this citizen will blame no singel person or party... but place blame on inept house and senete. Tea party taking a huge gambel on the heads of normal americans.... in the name of normal americans...reminds me of a certain saudi arabian gentelman that sent thousands to there death just to make a ill conceved point based on manipulated ideology.

    This is what i call home grown terorisum!

    July 29, 2011 at 12:33 am |
  2. Jim

    "the party of no"? You've got to be kidding me. Which party has already declared the Boehner bill to be dead on arrival when they don't even know exactly what's in it? Who's the one saying no right now? Incredible...

    When will Anderson and his CNN buddies stop being a shill for the Democrats and ask THEM a tough question? Ask Obama why he's putting his re-election campaign ahead of America by promising to veto any deal that doesn't go past next November? We all know why that's the Democrat position - but I haven't seen anyone from CNN challenging him on that. Instead they'd rather ask the Democrats what they think of the Republicans and whether Boehner can survive. You guys have zero credibility...

    July 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm |
  3. Cloe

    OMG.... lets throw the entire Congress in the Boston Harbor and see who floats and who sinks.... they all love the sound of their voices.... and ignoring what the people they are supposed to be serving..... anything wrong with this picture???

    July 28, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
  4. larry in omaha

    Debt limit was raised 8 times under Bush, from $5.95 T to $12.1 T. Bush added $5 T to National Debt, by cutting revenue and entering two wars. There was a surplus when he entered office.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  5. James

    Why don't you interview a Chinese billionaire and ask him if he isn't licking his chops over the debt ceiling crisis. As they own a huge chunck of the US debt, he will be doubling his return on investment and keep his atrifically high currency with its buying power against US currency. If you present the angle of how this empowers Chinese influence, your audience will get the point, maybe the congress will get the threat as well. Bottom line is that this crisis will be a super dupper gift for Chinese financial power...kinda a freebee.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  6. Kay

    Just what are we paying the representatives to do? I can't believe that I live in a country that was once great, only to be squashed by these greedy people. I have voted in every presidential election since I turned 18 and each year it has boiled down to voting for the lesser of the EVILS. These people need to get the stick out of the orifice anfd do what is right and needed. there must be a balanced budget, but now is not the time to do that. If they were doing their jobs they would have addressed the balancing of the budjet long ago. I have to live on a budget, why can't they?

    July 28, 2011 at 10:38 pm |
  7. steve

    love alan simpson, read the 67 pages, it makes sense, for both parties, because it was written by both parties. why was this plan shelved? not one person in either house, senate should be paid a dime of their salaries until a deal is made and passed. and even then we should refuse to pay them for several months. see how that goes over with them. then put them on commission. if country does not show a profit. nobody gets paid.

    this the way I have built a successful company. if my salemen don't do their job , they don't get paid. nobody seems to be doing their job.


    July 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm |
  8. mr lee

    the plan cant be found...the reason cant back the cause its simple America needs to realize what and why a democracy works, what is a consumer nation and a resource driven nation...lets say this country as a consumer nation takes(no pun intended) ,...80% of all the worlds resources with six billion people on this planet that means south Americas 1 billion people get 5%china's 1 billion people get 5% India 1 billion get 5% and the mid Easts 1 billion get 5% as resource nations these people get what they have to work with the democracy within the upper Communism works because it was formed as a resource nation formed by the communism ,you cant make something from nothing...communism is not a choice its an understanding, people understand that resource comes from what is available not Ronald McDonald...the democracy works more efficient therefor its interior uses its interior resources better even giving the 5% an actual higher production level ......this is sad considering America does nothing with its functioning resources cant get it together? start with wheres the 16$ and learning how the rest of the world works.....well................learn how not to take from everything else this is no accomplishment nor is arrogance

    July 28, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Kathleen

    It is unforgivable that the Republican Party, especially the Tea Party caucus, is bringing our country to the brink of disaster. There is too much at stake and yet they are obstinate, wasting our time while carrying macabre smiles on their faces. Americans–call your Tea Party representatives and tell them to back off. We could be headed for an even deeper recession if they don't come to their senses.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  10. Jackie

    Why doesn't Pres. Obama go before congress and ask which Republicans think compromise is the way to go. Because if there are any who would, he would like to invite them to cross the floor and temporarily become Democrats. They, the large group of those willing to compromise, would carry on to the end of the term putting forward proposals and compromising on solutions (Just as the public overwhelmingly wants them to do). Thus the tea party has been successfully kicked to the side where they are rendered irrelevent. The public would be grateful to the Republicans who took this courageous step, thus saving the country. They could return to their own side of the floor as proud Republicans.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  11. Kanren Goldberg

    I say we cut Congress's pay until they reach a debt solution. Save our seniors!

    July 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm |
  12. Lillian Christensen

    If the Social Security checks can't be sent because of no money, does that mean the President,Senators and Congressman lose their paycheck? I bet not. Washington takes everything and gives nothing but grief! Love you show.

    July 28, 2011 at 9:20 pm |