House GOP Raises Stakes in Debt-Ceiling Fight

27 September 2013 |permalink | email article

If the Democrats muster 60 votes, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, will move to strip out House language that guts the health care law and pass a stopgap spending bill that finances the government through Nov. 15, without Republican policy prescriptions. At that point, no one is sure how the House will react. But in their efforts to unify restive Republicans, House leaders were only widening the partisan divisions. Behind closed doors on Thursday, they laid out their plans for a debt ceiling increase that include the health policy delay. fast-track authority to overhaul the tax code and, among other goals, construct the very controversial XL oil pipeline.

Republican divisions in the Senate burst into full public view on Thursday. Incensed that hardliners in his party were slowing final votes on legislation to keep the government open, Sen. Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, went to the Senate floor to accuse two fellow Republican senator, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, of grandstanding for the benefit of their conservative-activist followers. Democrats—and some Republicans—worried that the shift to the debt-ceiling fight is leaving the government heading into a shutdown on Tuesday with no resolution in sight. 

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