House leadership touts 'Plan C' for CR
Speaker Boehner's plans A and B didn't work out. Conservatives killed them both before they could even come to the floor.
Now the leadership is touting a Plan C.
House GOP whip Kevin McCarthy said the House will send a third government-funding bill with "a few other options" if the Democratic-controlled Senate rejects the bill passed in the House last night, as expected.
"We will pass a bill . . . that will keep the government open, that will reflect the House, that I believe the Senate can accept, that will have fundamental changes to Obamacare that can protect the economy for America," McCarthy said on Fox News Sunday.
The remarks confirm National Review Online's reporting yesterday that House leadership is considering an eleventh-hour play like passing a "clean" continuing resolution (CR) with language added to end a subsidy for congressional staffers to purchase health insurance.
McCarthy said there are "a lot of items on the table" in discussions about which provision to add to an otherwise clean CR.
From discussions with rank-and-file Republicans late into the evening last night in the Capitol, it's clear the plan will run into some resistance from the GOP conference. The closed-door meeting where Speaker John Boehner announced the latest plan turned into something of a pep rally, producing a unified conference ready to charge into battle with Obama. Boehner did not mention the next step to his strategy to his members, and at least most of them did not appear to anticipate he would be going in that direction.
From defunding to ending a subsidy for lawmakers and their staffs? It's attractive but I don't think the hard liners are going to go for it. They are fully vested in getting rid of Obamacare - if not permanently, then delayed for a year. It's hard to see how they could switch gears and give up on that idea.
Senator Cruz hasn't said much about what the House should do except "hold the line." Will Boehner bring the "clean" CR to the floor without any Obamacare riders? I have no special conduit into Boehner's mind but he may be considering it. About half the caucus wants this issue to go away and Boehner may risk the wrath of the right to accommodate them.
Otherwise, at midnight tonight, we'll have a partial shut down of the government and the resulting crapshoot of who will get blamed for it.