The House GOP will lay down its marker late Tuesday with a dead-on-arrival plan called Cut, Cap, and Balance. It has dim prospects in the Senate and President Obama has threatened to veto it. So what’s next?
[TPM SLIDESHOW: Debt Negotiations At The White House]
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) claims that this plan — radical though it is — is the only plan that can pass the House of Representatives. At least for now.
“There are lots of ideas out there from Democrats and Republicans, but guess what?” Boehner told reporters at a Tuesday press conference in the Capitol. “None of them have a majority. This one has a majority.”
But, Boehner acknowledged, party leaders remain in communication with each other and Democrats to make sure a backup plan is in place after conservatives get to lay down their markers and feel they were heard.
“I’m not going to give up hope on Cut, Cap, and Balance,” Boehner demurred. “But I do think it’s responsible for us to look at what Plan B would look like, and the leadership had a long conversation yesterday about Plan B.”
So we’re still in hurry-up and wait mode as Republicans give their right flank some time and cover to make some noise. And their leaders have their backs on this, defending the plan as a fair trade off: Republicans get everything they want, and the country avoids default.
“The President said he wanted a balanced plan,” Boehner said. “That’s what this is — a balanced plan. He gets his increase in the debt ceiling. We get real cuts in spending and real reform that will make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.