The White House on Tuesday threw cold water on the House GOP's latest proposal to reopen the federal government and lift the debt ceiling, accusing Republicans of kowtowing to the Tea Party and obstructing a bipartisan Senate plan to end the fiscal deadlock.
House Republican leaders are pushing a plan that would raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7 and fund the government through Jan. 15, but also make more extensive revisions to Obamacare. GOP leaders are seeking a two-year delay in a tax on medical devices and the elimination of Obamacare subsidies for members of Congress and White House officials.
“Unfortunately, the latest proposal from House Republicans [seeks a ransom] in a partisan attempt to appease a small group of Tea Party Republicans who forced the government shutdown in the first place,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said. “Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have been working in a bipartisan, good-faith effort to end the manufactured crises that have already harmed American families and business owners.”
The House GOP plan mirrors a Senate-proposed timeline to keep the government funded and increase the nation’s borrowing capacity.
The Senate proposal, however, also includes measures to make receiving Obamacare subsidies subject to income verification and delays the so-called “belly-button” tax, which charged a $63 annual levy on existing plans. The upper chamber's plan though lacks language on the medical-device levy or federal-worker subsidies.
As House Republicans unveiled their latest plan, Obama announced that he would meet with House Democratic leaders at the White House Tuesday afternoon.
The president will host House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as well as Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., James Clyburn, D-S.C., Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Steve Israel, D-N.Y., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., in the Oval Office.
The government shutdown has now entered its third week and leaders are less than two days away from the deadline to increase the nation's debt limit.