Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will soon announce an agreement to reopen the government and avert default on U.S. debt, Politico reports, according to several sources familiar with the talks. Here is what that "stunning reversal for the speaker" deal looks like. In short: the can has been kicked for three months, to early February.
But the fact that House Republicans are now planning to go that route marks a stunning reversal for the speaker who had backed his conservative wing’s drive to gut Obamacare as part of the government shutdown fight, now in its third week.
The bill will barely scathe Obamacare, however, and putting it on the floor will mark a huge concession by the House after sparking a 16-day government shutdown over insistence that the health care law be defunded or delayed as a condition to keep the government open. Dozens of conservatives in the House will be disappointed by the proposal and Boehner will need Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to deliver a bevy of votes to pass the bill.
Reid (D-Nev.) and McConnell (R-Ky.) are very close to finishing an agreement to reopen the government through Jan. 15, lift the debt ceiling through Feb. 7 and develop a bicameral budget committee that would be required to develop a conference report by Dec. 13.
The plan includes a proposal offered by McConnell in the 2011 debt ceiling crisis that allows Congress to disapprove of the debt ceiling increase, which means lawmakers will formally vote on whether to reject of the debt ceiling increase until Feb. 7. Obama can veto that legislation if it passes. If Congress fails as expected to gather a two-thirds majority to override the veto, the debt ceiling would be raised.
The deal would also deliver back pay to furloughed federal workers, require income verification for people seeking health-insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act and also allow the Treasury Department to use extraordinary measures to pay the nation’s bills if Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Feb. 7.
And The Hill adds:
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) presented the deal to his conference Wednesday morning. Republican senators quickly rallied around the proposal, which would fund government through Jan. 15.
McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) put the finishing touches on the proposal after an effort by House Republicans to advance a competing resolution collapsed Tuesday.
The bipartisan agreement would also raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling until February, setting the stage for budget talks between the Senate and House.
Reid and McConnell announced the deal on the Senate floor shortly after noon.
If the legislation passes as expected, it would set up a Senate-House conference to negotiate fiscal reforms, which must be reported to Congress by a certain date.
The bill will allow President Obama to retain his power to use so-called extraordinary measures to preserve the ability of the government to pay its bills once it reaches the debt limit. The Treasury Department informed Congress in May that it had begun to use such measures to manage the debt ceiling.