House leadership has begun building a package for its "final volley" in the budget battles over the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling, National Review's Robert Costa reports.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is preparing the offer for mid-October — presumably ahead of the Oct. 17 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. It is expected to pair an extension of government funding and debt-limit hike with a " small, but strategically designed menu" of conservative wishes.
These conservative inclusions could include a "mechanism" and triggers for talks on tax reform, as well as entitlement reforms like chained CPI and means-testing Social Security. And there will be some items tied to the Affordable Care Act, most likely a repeal of the new tax on medical devices.
The proposed deal is likely to be a non-starter with President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats. They have been pressing for the House to vote on the Senate's so-called "clean" CR to end the government shutdown, as well as a "clean" hike in the debt ceiling.
"Wouldn't fly as the price of CR and debt ceiling. Those have to be clean," a Senate Democratic aide said. "We are happy to set up a process to discuss something like this after we get a clean CR and debt ceiling increase."
On Twitter, White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer replied to Costa and told him that the Republican offer was "detached from legislative and political reality":
@robertcostaNRO I am sure your story is an accurate view of GOP thinking, but they are detached from legislative and political reality— Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) October 4, 2013
@robertcostaNRO Except Boehner said he wouldnt allow default...There is an inherent illogic to their position and strategy— Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) October 4, 2013
The first federal government shutdown in 17 years entered into its fourth day on Friday, with no end in sight. Boehner held a press conference full of emotion, blasting a White House official who told the Wall Street Journal that the White House was "winning" in the shutdown debate.
"This isn't some damn game!" Boehner said.
He said that he wanted Obama to begin a simple discussion. That was a message emphasized by a senior GOP aide Friday afternoon.
"Right now, we’re stuck on getting some Democrat – President Obama, Harry Reid, Bill Clinton, Will.i.am – to negotiate on SOMETHING," the aide said.
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