House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said a Senate alternative to the new
House GOP debt-ceiling plan is gimmicky and flawed since it does not
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has laid out a plan with $2.7 trillion in deficit cuts, but more than half of the savings come from expected troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan and interest savings. The Reid plan, unlike Boehner’s, raises the debt ceiling through 2012.
Boehner is trying to sell an alternative plan to his own resistant caucus. That plan would raise the debt ceiling in two stages, but would not require passage of a balanced-budget amendment, something pushed for by the more conservative members of his caucus.
In a press conference, Boehner explained that he too feels the plan is flawed, but said the imperfections are a result of negotiations with Senate Democrats.
“This is legislation reflects a bipartisan negotiation over the weekend with our colleagues in the Senate, and as a result of this bipartisan negotiation I would call this plan less than perfect,” he said.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said the Boehner plan is “a well-thought-out and reasoned plan where no side gets what it wants.”
He noted that President Obama wanted tax increases and a debt-ceiling increase through 2012, and the Boehner plan does not grant that.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) declined to say in the same press conference whether he can get a majority of the caucus behind the plan, and invited Democrats to join the effort in passing the plan.
“We have just laid it out to our members. We believe we laid out the position that we would not raise [the ceiling] if we did not have cuts and we would not have tax increases. Those are our principles and that’s what we are doing,” he said.
“When we did 'cut, cap and balance' it was not just Republicans — it was a bipartisan bill,” he said. Five Blue Dog Democrats voted for "cut, cap and balance," which would have required at least $6 trillion in spending cuts over a decade with no tax increases. He then invited “all Democrats who want to join with us” to do so.