Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Now what? (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Now what? (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Aides to Republican members of Congress tell Capitol Hill Blue that they have the votes necessary to combine with Democrats to pass a proposed deal from the Senate that would reopen the government and stave off a debt default on Thursday but say that Speaker John Boehner is resisting bringing the measure to the floor if it comes over from the other body.

“Boehner is afraid of the hard-core conservative bloc that would rather see the government stay closed and do into default rather than pass a clean bill that would fund the government through January of next year and extend the Department of the Treasury’s borrowing authority until February,” a key House aide said early Tuesday afternoon.

Boehner’s announcement of a rival House plan that adds back restrictions on Obamacare brought negotiations to a halt on the Senate side when Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped negotiating with Majority Leader Harry Reid, saying he wanted to see if the House could pass the plan.

But Republicans in the House emerged from an hour-long closed door meeting Tuesday with no consensus on the House and a deal that was expected with so much optimism earlier in the day evaporated into a sea of partisan waves.

Spokesmen for both Reid and McConnell said they expected their bosses to start negotiating again Tuesday night if the House failed to act on the Boehner proposal but such a delay would push settlement until sometime Wednesday — dangerously close the the midnight Wednesday deadline when the government could default on its debt obligations.

White House spokesman Jay Carney retreated from the earlier optimism Wednesday and said the two sides are “far from a deal” on the issues that keep the government closed and default looking.

“We’re encouraged by the progress we seen in the Senate, but we’re far from a deal at this point,” Carney said.

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Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.


  1. Republicans, ticktock, ticktock, pass a Clean Budget, a Clean Debit plan, leave ACA alone and stop the games. Ticktock, Ticktock

    I vote and will remember this in Nov 2014 and Nov 2016 and beyond.

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