Reid: House bill DOA in Senate
By Ramsey Cox - 10/15/13 11:41 AM ET
The House's latest plan to raise the debt ceiling and end the government shutdown won't pass the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Tuesday.
“It’s unproductive and a waste of time,” Reid said. “The House legislation will not pass the Senate.”
Senate leaders are working on a deal that would end the shutdown, fund the government through Jan. 15 and raise the debt ceiling until February.
House Republicans met Tuesday morning to discuss preempting the Senate by passing their own plan to raise the debt ceiling and end the shutdown.
The House bill would delay Obamacare's medical device tax and scrap healthcare subsidies for members of Congress and top Cabinet officials, among other provisions. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said no firm decisions about the plan have been made.
Reid said the bill is a non-starter even if Boehner finds the votes he needs to pass it.
“It’s a plan to advance an extreme piece of legislation and its nothing but a blatant attack on bipartisanship. ... We felt blindsided by the news from the House."
"Everyone needs to know that the measure under discussion in the House is no part of what we have negotiated here in the Senate."
Reid has criticized linking the medical device tax to the budget plan as "stupid" idea.
A spokesman for Boehner questioned why Reid is unwilling to accept a delay of the tax, given the broad support among Senate Democrats for repealing it.
"Is Senator Reid so blinded by partisanship that he is willing to risk default on our debt to protect a 'pacemaker tax' that 34 Senate Democrats are on the record opposing, and he himself called 'stupid'?" Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.
Sen. John McCain criticized Democrats for their swift dismissal of the House legislation.
“I don’t understand that visceral reaction in a most negative fashion,” McCain said from the Senate floor.
McCain suggested that the House and Senate could both pass debt-ceiling bills and then go to conference to work out their differences.
“I believe it’s a good faith effort from the Speaker of the House,” McCain said. “Let’s stop the condemnation. Let’s consider the Republican House proposal as a serious proposal.”