The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 15, 2013

House GOP unveils bill to counter Senate debt plan

Boehner: "trying to find a path forward"

(Continued)

The White House and Democrats quickly came out against the Republican plan. Obama planned to meet with House Democratic leaders Tuesday afternoon as negotiations continue.

"The latest proposal from House Republicans does just that in a partisan attempt to appease a small group of tea party Republicans who forced the government shutdown in the first place," said White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage. "Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have been working in a bipartisan, good-faith effort .... With only a couple days remaining until the United States exhausts its borrowing authority, it's time for the House to do the same."

"GOP's latest plan is designed to torpedo the bipartisan Sen solution," tweeted Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. "Plan is not only reckless, it's tantamount to default."

Political pressure is building on Republicans to reopen the government and GOP leaders are clearly fearful of failing to act to avert a default on U.S. obligations.

Republicans are in a difficult spot, relinquishing many of their core demands as they take a beating in the polls. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., led GOP lawmakers in several verses of "Amazing Grace."

"We have to stick together now," said Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas.

Like the House GOP bill, the emerging Senate measure — though not finalized — would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit the Treasury to borrow normally until early to mid-February, easing dual crises that have sapped confidence in the economy and taken a sledgehammer to the GOP's poll numbers.

"There are productive negotiations going on with the Republican leader," Reid said as he opened the Senate Tuesday. "I'm confident we'll be able to reach a comprehensive agreement this week in time to avert a catastrophic default."

On Wall Street, stocks were mixed early Tuesday, with investors somewhat optimistic over a potential deal.

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