Portman floats new plan to end standoff

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The plan would be based on proposals by Reps. Diane BlackDiane Lynn BlackBottom line Overnight Health Care: Anti-abortion Democrats take heat from party | More states sue Purdue over opioid epidemic | 1 in 4 in poll say high costs led them to skip medical care Lamar Alexander's exit marks end of an era in evolving Tennessee MORE (R-Tenn.) and Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnCOVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks Inspector general independence must be a bipartisan priority in 2020 Congress must protect federal watchdogs MORE (R-Okla.) aimed at preventing fraud in ObamaCare.


Black’s bill, introduced this summer, would not allow any federal subsidies for ObamaCare before such time as the inspector general of Health and Human Services certifies to Congress that measures are in place to verify household income and other requirements for subsidy applicants.

The offer could appeal to Democrats, because it would not make structural changes to ObamaCare.

But President Obama and Democrats have also insisted that they will not negotiate changes to the healthcare law until Republicans reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.

Portman’s proposal is not intended as an opening offer but closer to an end result, given the mere week left before Treasury cannot guarantee the U.S. is able to make its payment obligations.

In addition to allowing sequestration to bring the top-line spending level for 2014 to $967 billion, it contains $600 billion in mandatory cuts such as chained CPI contained the last Obama budget. 

It also has instructions to committees to complete an overhaul of the tax code that does not raise new revenues.

—Ben Goad contributed.

This story was updated at 1:32 p.m.