Friday, September 27, 2013

Republican Leaders Don't Have The Votes For Their Own Hostage Plan

Michael McAuliff
Huffington Post

House Republican leaders rolled out their latest gambit to use the nation's debt limit to extract concessions from Democrats, but they may have spoken too soon.

Numerous members of the GOP conference emerged from their weekly closed-door meeting Thursday expressing confidence in a bill that would seek numerous cuts and legislative changes in return for raising the country's $16.7 trillion borrowing cap. They said a vote could be scheduled swiftly, with an Oct. 17 deadline looming.

But reports surfaced later in the day, as members thought the plan over, that there might not be enough votes in the fractious Republican caucus to pass it.

Leadership sources told HuffPost that such reports were "premature," but acknowledged they were "still talking to members, still listening to concerns."

"I'd guess we need more votes," one said.

But they also contended that news that the debt bill was being delayed was inaccurate, since a vote had never been scheduled in the first place.

Still, earlier in the day, rank-and-file members seemed to believe that a bill would be put forth quickly. They acknowledged that using the debt limit as leverage was risky, but said it was a worthwhile plan.

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