The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 15, 2013

House GOP offers Senate counter

WASHINGTON — House GOP leaders Tuesday floated a plan to fellow Republicans to counter an emerging Senate deal to reopen the government and forestall an economy-rattling default on U.S. obligations. But the plan got mixed reviews from the rank and file and it was not clear whether it could pass the chamber.

The measure would suspend a new tax on medical devices for two years and take away the federal government’s health care contributions to lawmakers and top administration officials. It would also fund the government through Jan. 15 and give Treasury the ability to borrow normally through Feb. 7.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he’s “trying to find a path forward” but that “there have been no decisions about exactly what we will do.” He told a news conference, “There are a lot of opinions about what direction to go.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., involved in negotiations with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, blasted the House plan as a blatant attack on bipartisanship.

“It can’t pass the Senate and it won’t pass the Senate,” Reid said. That sparked an angry response from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who accused Reid of “piling on” and urged him to consider the House effort as a good-faith offer.

“We know you have the upper hand,” McCain said. “Isn’t it time that we find a way out of this?”

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