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A planned House vote Tuesday night on consideration of a controversial Republican proposal to reopen the government and extend borrowing authority was scrapped after it became clear Speaker of the House John Boehner didn’t have the votes to pass the bill.
Republican leaders cancelled a meeting of the House Rules Committee to set up the procedure for a vote and the delay seemed certain to shift focus on a deal back to the Senate, which was close to an agreement earlier Tuesday when the surprise GOP bill thew a monkey wrench into plans.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are expected to resume negotiation and pull together a plan by early Wednesday in hopes of averting a default on government debt that could go into effect at at 12:0a a.m. Thursday.
Boehner’s latest failure leaves the government shutdown in its third week and more questions than answers.
The House GOP plan would have reopened the government until Dec. 15 and granted the U.S. Treasury borrowing power through Feb. 7 while forcing the president, vice president, members of Congress and Capitol Hill staff to lose government provided health insurance and pay for inclusion under Obamacare.
When House Democrats made it clear Tuesday they would not support the plan, Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) were forced to try and find 217 Republican votes. The numbers weren’t there and a rebellion for the rabid right wing of the GOP opposed the plan because it didn’t go enough to damage Obamacare.
That brought some feeling of irony to the speaker’s office because Boehner spent most of Tuesday modifying the bill to try and add Republican support.
“Two things may have died today,” a House aide told Capitol Hill Blue. “The GOP proposal died and, with it, the speakership of John Boehner.”
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