Boehner tweaks bill to pass the House, final vote expected this evening

Earlier today, House Republicans rolled out a tweaked debt bill that could attract enough support from tea party-backed Republicans. The new language requires passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) before a second increase in the debt ceiling can be considered six months down the road:

House Republican leaders presented members on Friday with a re-worked plan to raise the country’s debt ceiling, and several previously skeptical members said that they would now support the plan.

Members who left a House Republican conference meeting said that the new proposal would not change the first step of House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan to raise the debt limit but would call for Congress to send to the states a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution in order for the second stage of the debt-ceiling plan to take effect early next year.

You can read the new language of Boehner’s bill here. The House has already passed two procedural motions to move the bill to a final vote this evening. Final passage of the bill is expected some time after 6pm this evening.

It’s worth noting that the CBO has found the latest debt bill from House Republicans to have great spending cuts that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s proposal (not counting already expected savings from Afghanistan and Iraq).  However, Philip Klein notes that the changes don’t really change the outcome in the Senate:

With the BBA addition, the new Boehner plan is assured passage in the House and immediate rejection in the Senate. Cut, Cap and Balance served the same purpose.  So all that will have been accomplished is that he wasted a work week of unveiling the plan, drafting it into legislative language, getting it scored by the CBO and then revised and scored again, putting it on the House floor, debating it, delaying the vote, trying in vain to arm-twist hold outs, and then ending up with a watered down Cut, Cap and Balance anyway.

The Hill reports that Democratic and Republicans leaders in the Senate are negotiating a compromise, but that it could take until Sunday for those talks to bear any fruit.

Stay tuned.

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