Boehner to allow vote on Senate plan

Boehner to allow vote on Senate plan

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRepublicans fear retribution for joining immigration revolt Freedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights GOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan MORE (R-Ohio) has agreed to allow a vote in the House on the emerging Senate debt-ceiling deal, sources say.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules MORE (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators introduce bill to overhaul sexual harassment policy The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Republicans see some daylight in midterm polling Exclusive: Bannon says Rosenstein could be fired 'very shortly' MORE (R-Ky.) were racing Wednesday to put the finishing touches on the deal ahead of Thursday's deadline for raising the $16.7 trillion debt limit.

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The draft of the Senate agreement would raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, reopen the government until Jan. 15 and form a budget conference to resolve the automatic spending cuts under sequestration.



"The Speaker will bring that bill to the House floor," Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyIRS to issue guidance on state efforts to circumvent tax-law provision Push for NAFTA deal continues as uncertainty increases Tax reform postmortem reveals lethal dose of crony capitalism MORE (R-Texas) told Bloomberg television Wednesday morning.

It's unclear whether the House or Senate will vote first on the agreement.

Starting in the House could speed passage in the Senate, but a senior House GOP leadership aide said the order of votes remains up in the air. 

“No decision has been made about how or when a potential Senate agreement could be voted on in the House,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerRepublicans fear retribution for joining immigration revolt Freedom Caucus bruised but unbowed in GOP primary fights GOP revolts multiply against retiring Ryan MORE.

Lawmakers are racing against the clock to meet Thursday’s debt-ceiling deadline, when the Treasury Department says the nation's borrowing authority will be exhausted.

The credit rater Fitch on Tuesday said it was putting the U.S. on watch for a possible downgrade, creating a sense of urgency for getting legislation to President Obama’s desk.

The stock market surged as signs emerged that Washington would find a way to avoid the nation’s first-ever debt default. The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 190 points in late-morning trading.

It remains to be seen whether Boehner will have significant Republican support for the Senate deal, or be forced to rely on House Democrats to pass it.

Boehner made a last-ditch attempt on Tuesday to pass a rival budget plan, but was forced to pull back after it was clear he could not muster enough Republican support.

A GOP aide suggested House Republican efforts to move their own bill were over.

“I don't know that there's any tweaking that can be done to this plan to make it more viable,” a GOP leadership aide said.

Approving a deal with mostly Democratic votes would be a blow to Boehner, who has been forced repeatedly to accept legislation from the Senate after struggling to unify his conference.

It would also bring a remarkable end to the budget fight that has divided Republicans since the summer and sent the party’s poll numbers plunging to record lows.

"Our numbers have gone down," Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — GOP centrists in striking distance of immigration vote Dem leaders request bipartisan meeting on Russia probe Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA MORE (R-S.C.) told reporters Wednesday. "ObamaCare's somehow have mysteriously gone up. And other than that, this has been great."

While the final details of the Senate agreement are not known, it appears that Republicans will capitulate on most of their demands for changes to ObamaCare.

The deal would also end the 16-day-old government shutdown, which began on Oct. 1 after Democrats rejected the conservative push to defund the healthcare law and demanded passage of a "clean" bill with no strings attached. 

The Senate could act quickly on the budget deal, but only if conservatives like Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenators introduce bill to overhaul sexual harassment policy Greatest risk to the Republican majority? Rising interest rates GOP Senate primary heats up in Montana MORE (R-Texas) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeDenial of services to same-sex couples can harm their health GOP Senate primary heats up in Montana Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA MORE (R-Utah) give their consent.

Conservative lawmakers appeared resigned to passage of the Senate agreement on Wednesday and were already turning their attention to the next fiscal deadline.

"If we have to wait and fight those issues later, that may be where this is headed," said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). "We think this argument is a powerful one, and we will continue to make it."


Bernie Becker and Peter Schroeder contributed.

— This story was last updated at 11:38 a.m.