Clean Debt Ceiling Plan, After his latest debt-limit gambit failed to gain support among Republicans, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday he would bring a “clean” extension of the federal government’s borrowing authority — one without strings attached — to the House floor Tuesday night.
People close to the whip process said that dozens of House Republicans privately told the leadership Tuesday afternoon that they’re willing to back the clean bill with Boehner, and the Republican leadership expects passage Tuesday night with sufficient Republican and Democratic support.
Boehner’s decision, which was announced at a private GOP breakfast, signals an end to the month-long showdown, more than two weeks before Feb. 27, the debt limit deadline set by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
The sudden shift also underscores the House leadership’s inability to corral Republicans behind a debt ceiling plan. “The natural reluctance is obvious,” said Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), the chief deputy whip.
Conservative advocacy groups reacted negatively to the development, with spokesmen for Heritage Action for America and the Club for Growth urging members to vote “no” and including the vote on their scorecards, which serve as guides for their supporters. “When we heard that House leadership was scheduling a clean debt ceiling increase, we thought it was a joke,” said Barney Keller, a Club for Growth adviser. “But it’s not. Something is very wrong with House leadership, or with the Republican Party.”