The House and Senate passed a bill to reopen the government and avoid a debt default, with just hours to spare on Wednesday night. President Obama signed it into law shortly thereafter, keeping the federal government open through January 15 and extending the debt limit through February 7.

In a statement Wednesday night, the Office of Management and Budget told federal workers to expect to return to work on Thursday morning as the shutdown ends. According to park officials Yosemite National Park will open later Wednesday night. 

According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Thursday was the date on which the government risked becoming unable to pay its debt obligations — a scenario which would have caused enormous disruptions in the global economy. On Tuesday, House Republicans struggled to develop a plan that might satisfy its most conservative wing, eventually determining that no proposal could do so. The Senate's plan was announced Wednesday at noon after bipartisan negotiations lead by the two party leaders in the Senate. 

144 Republican members of the House, including Rep. Paul Ryan, voted against the compromise plan. 87 Republicans voted with all 198 Democrats to pass the bill by a margin of 285-144. After the vote, the House concluded its legislative week. 

In a statement, the White House announced that the president will sign the bill into law tonight.  In either case, he'll address the nation at 10:35 a.m. on Thursday. 

Updates

6:43 a.m.: Here's the official roll call of the House vote, so you can see how every Representative cast their ballot.

Thursday, 12:32 a.m.: H.R. 2775 has been signed into law by President Obama. The White House released this statement:

On Thursday, October 17, 2013, the President signed into law:

H.R. 2775, the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014," which provides fiscal year 2014 appropriations for projects and activities of the Federal Government through Wednesday, January 15, 2014.  The effective time for the continuing resolution begins on October 1, 2013.  H.R. 2775 also extends the Nation's debt limit through February 7, 2014.


Wednesday:

11:33 p.m.: Yosemite National Park will open tonight, according to park officials. 

11:16 p.m.: The Washington Post has a breakdown of how every member of Congress voted on the debt deal. 

10:56 p.m.: Federal workers go back to work tomorrow, according to a statement from Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Director of the Office of Management and Budget: 

"Now that the bill has passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the President plans to sign it tonight and employees should expect to return to work in the morning. Employees should be checking the news and OPM's website for further updates."

10:25 p.m.: Just after the vote, what sounded like a protester began shouting on the House floor. It turns out that the protester was a House stenographer

10:20 p.m.: The vote count was 285 for, to 144 against. All 198 Democrats voted yes, while Republicans split with 87 voting for the plan, and 144 against. 

10:14 p.m.: The House just approved the debt deal bill from the Senate. Now, it just needs Obama's signature. 

9:58 p.m.: the House has started to vote on the Senate deal after about a half an hour of debate. In other news, Cory Booker just won the New Jersey special Senate election

9:24 p.m.: The House gives unanimous consent to vote on the Senate deal after an hour of debate, without sending it to the Rules Committee first. 

8:42 p.m.: The Huffington Post's Sam Stein may have inadvertently given conservatives a new thing to talk about by joking about the timing of President Obama's speech tonight: 

So guys, if you're getting chain emails about this already, take a deep breath. Stein has already debunked his own tweet. Its not true.

The president will address the nation again tomorrow morning at 10:35 a.m. 

8:30 p.m.: "Once this agreement reaches my desk, I will sign it immediately," Obama said in brief remarks following the Senate vote to reopen the government. Thanking the Senate leadership of both parties, the president said, "I've never believed that Democrats have a monopoly on good ideas." The bill has yet to pass the House. They're scheduled to vote on it later tonight. 

The president then turned his attention to the other major issues on the legislative agenda, specifically naming immigration reform and the farm bill. He added: "we now have an opportunity to focus on a sensible budget...we could get all these things done even this year." Obama urged everyone to "put the last three weeks behind us." 

At the end of his remarks, a reporter asked the president if he was afraid this was just going to happen again in a few months. He replied, "No." 

8:21 p.m.: Meanwhile, the Washington Post is doing some real-keeping on the so-called "Kentucky Kickback" in the Senate deal, a $3 billion funding package for a Kentucky project which some conservatives believe is essentially a buyoff for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Apparently, the funding was requested by President Obama. The dam funded by the money isn't even a McConnell pet project. So there you go. 

8:20 p.m.: The president will speak in about 5 minutes, from the White House Briefing Room. Watch it here: 

 

8:11 p.m.: The vote count for the final vote was 81 for, 18 against. The 18 no's were Senators Coburn, Cornyn, Crapo, Cruz, Enzi, Grassley, Heller, Johnson-WI, Lee, Paul, Risch, Roberts, Rubio, Scott, Sessions, Shelby, Toomey, and Vitter. 

8:07 p.m.: the Senate deal passes. It'll go to the House next. 

7:58 p.m.: The final vote is underway. If you're looking for some shutdown reading material while everyone waits, why not try Karl Rove's just-published Wall Street Journal op-ed, where the Bush-era strategist goes all Admiral Ackbar on the shutdown: 

Barack Obama set the trap. Some congressional Republicans walked into it. As a result, the president is stronger, the GOP is weaker, and ObamaCare is marginally more popular. The battles over spending, taxes and debt have not been resolved, only postponed. It's time Republicans remembered that bad tactics produce bad outcomes.

7:55 p.m.: The procedural vote passes, 83-16, with 29 Republicans voting for it. Next up: the final vote. 

7:47 p.m.: Meanwhile, word of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's apparent kickback in the deal — to the tune of nearly $3 billion for the Kentucky-based Olmsted Lock and Dam Authority — is making its way around the floor: 

7:36 p.m.: In case you were wondering, The White House supports the Senate bill to end the shutdown and avoid a default. In a Statement of Administration Policy on Wednesday evening, the administration said: 

 The legislation represents a bipartisan agreement to reopen the Government and remove the threat of default that would harm middle-class families, American businesses, and the Nation's economic standing in the world.  The Administration urges the Congress to act swiftly to pass the bill in order to protect the full faith and credit of the United States and end the Government shutdown.  The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress on fiscal year 2014 appropriations legislation for the full year.

The procedural cloture vote on the bill is underway. Then, the Senate will vote on final passage. 

7:30 p.m.: The Senate is about to start voting on the Senate deal, some time in the next 15 minutes. There are two votes, and each will take about 15 minutes

6:56 p.m.: Ted Cruz is on the floor, criticizing the Senate deal that, presumably, the Senate will vote on and pass soon. "This is a terrible deal. And I urge my colleagues to vote against it," he said.

Then, Cruz began writing fan fiction about a different scenario, in which the Tea Party wing of the Republican party got what it wanted in the shutdown. "The outcome could have been different. I ask you...to imagine a different world. We saw in the past two months millions of Americans rise up" against Obamacare, Cruz said, adding, "I ask you to imagine a world in which Senate Republicans ... simply supported House Republicans and the American people." It's not surprising that the Senator would take one more opportunity to speak before the shutdown (hopefully!) ends. Cruz, as we noted earlier, is just getting more and more popular with the Tea Party wing of the Republican party, based in large part on his willingness to speak for conservatives against Obamacare. 

Cruz ended his speech by hoping that eventually, the Senate Republicans would "listen" to the House, and "take their lead" the next time the conservative wing of the party tries to do something about Obamacare. 

6:42 p.m.: We're still waiting for a Senate vote on the Senate proposal, so that the bill can then go to the House, if it passes. Meanwhile, Erick Erickson would like the GOP to Keep Fighting: 

Keeping on the theme of conservative disappointment in the compromise plan designed to avert a debt default, the Senate Conservatives Fund is very unhappy with Mitch McConnell's involvement in the compromise plan. They've already found a "Kentucky Kickback" in the funding bill.

5:53 p.m.: Via Business Insider, the full text of the draft Senate proposal.

5:48 p.m.: Jonathon Strong has more details about the House caucus meeting.

At the last GOP conference meeting of the two-week government shutdown, no lawmakers went to the microphones to give their take.

Instead, after Speaker John Boehner told Republicans they had “fought the good fight,” they all rose up to offer a standing ovation. “It was one of the easiest meetings we’ve ever had,” says Representative Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina.

5:35 p.m.: Either conservative groups are holding out hope or they've already spent a lot of money on activism. Whichever it is, Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein was probably not convinced.

4:30 p.m.: So, here's a shutdown fist pump: 

Meanwhile, the National Review has more on how conservatives believe Boehner's role in the shutdown will help strengthen his leadership in the house. 

3:52 p.m.: Add the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to the "Yes" column on the Senate compromise. In a statement, the body noted that it would also score today's votes in its annual How They Voted report: 

The Chamber fully recognizes the importance of restraining federal spending, correcting the unsustainable growth path of entitlement spending, reducing federal budget deficits, containing the growth of federal debt, and enacting comprehensive tax reform.  However, the U.S. economy continues to grow only modestly, reinforcing the need for the federal government to resume its normal operations and to avoid the uncertainty and panic that would result from a historically unprecedented debt default.

We face a challenging set of issues that will require sustained debate over many months.  We therefore urge the Congress to act promptly to pass a Continuing Resolution to fund the government and to raise the debt ceiling, and then to return to work on these other vital issues.

3:39 p.m.: Boehner will reportedly deliver around 50 Republican votes for the compromise plan. 50. Out of 232. In other words, Democrats will probably carry the vote on the bill. 

3:34 p.m.: Here's Boehner's statement on the Senate plan. In short, he says: "blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us." 

“The House has fought with everything it has to convince the president of the United States to engage in bipartisan negotiations aimed at addressing our country's debt and providing fairness for the American people under ObamaCare.  That fight will continue.  But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us.  In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts.  With our nation's economy still struggling under years of the president's policies, raising taxes is not a viable option. Our drive to stop the train wreck that is the president's health care law will continue.  We will rely on aggressive oversight that highlights the law's massive flaws and smart, targeted strikes that split the legislative coalition the president has relied upon to force his health care law on the American people.” 

3:30 p.m.: House GOP members met over the Senate proposal today, which is expected to get a vote in the House at around 11 p.m tonight.

3:13 p.m.: Speaker Boehner has encouraged Republicans to vote for the Senate compromise plan. During a Wednesday afternoon radio interview, the Republican leader said "We fought the good fight, we just didn't win." Meanwhile, the conservative Republicans Boehner followed into shutdown land aren't upset with the Speaker for the failed strategy — quite the opposite, in fact, according to the National Review's Jonathan Strong. The conservative members of Boehner's House cohort are instead blaming their moderate colleagues for the strategy's failure. 

1:21 p.m.: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, will reportedly vote "no" on the Senate plan, but will not block it from passing.

1:05 p.m.: According to BuzzFeed's John Stanton, the House Republicans will meet at 3 p.m. to consider the compromise package.

12:55 p.m.: Final vote timing for the House and Senate isn't clear, but NBC's Luke Russert was told they would happen this afternoon.

As for Cruz, his spokesperson provides a preview of why the senator was willing to concede today.

12:45 p.m.: Finally, we can present the Senate proposal (almost certainly also the House proposal) in its official form.

  • Government reopened, funded until January 15, and employees paid retroactively to October 1
  • Debt ceiling cap lifted until February 7, and Treasury's ability to maintain "extraordinary measures" kept intact
  • Establish a budget conference committee between the House and Senate to reach an agreement on a longer term budget proposal
  • Craft a way of instituting income verification for applicants for health care on Obamacare exchanges.

12:18 p.m.: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke from the Senate floor, presenting the bipartisan agreement.

Reid outlined the conference committee, run by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan, heads of each chamber's budget committee. The goal is that this group could reach a long-term agreement on the budget — an optimistic goal, of course, but the goal nonetheless. Reid then offered the details that were expected: a funding measure until January, and an increase to the debt ceiling that runs through February. "This is really hard," Reid said, "but I think we can get it done."

When it was his turn, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed that the bill was important, in part because it would "preserve the historic cuts we achieved under the Budget Control Act." (Better known as sequestration.)

The very good news? It appears that Ted Cruz won't stand in the way, answering a question from a reporter whether or not he'd do so with a flat, "Of course not." He will, however, vote against it. Cruz answered the question, we'll note, because he stepped out to speak to reporters even as McConnell presented his party's argument from the Senate floor.

Sen. John McCain, speaking from the floor, called the entire debate "one of the more shameful chapters" that he has seen.

11:43 a.m.: One reason that Boehner may be willing to — at long last — allow a vote in the House that's driven by Democrats is that he at last feels his leadership position is secure. Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, a prominent conservative voice, praised the Speaker this morning, largely for his willingness to give the conservatives space to see how their strategy fared. (It fared poorly.)

11:30 a.m.: Whenever the House takes up the compromise bill (see below), it's expected that, for once, that chamber will be the easier fight. The vast majority of Democrats — and more than enough Republicans — will support the push. 

And then it gets to the Senate. As we noted below, Sen. Ted Cruz has not committed to supporting the measure yet. If he or his colleague Mike Lee of Utah decide to hold up the Senate's vote, it's unlikely that any debt ceiling increase can be signed into law by the President before Saturday, according to CNBC's John Harwood. Otherwise, the president could sign it today.

11:13 a.m.: Not so fast, everyone.

11:06 a.m.: The Senate deal (that the House will likely take up):

The Dec. 13 date, which was rumored to be the deadline for any big-picture budget discussions, may not actually be in the proposal — but only for procedural reasons.

Clearly, Senate Republicans aren't thrilled with the package as they head into conference.

And then there's Cruz.

10:51 a.m.: More rumblings that resolution is at-hand.

10:41 a.m.: We appear to be close to the end game — though we appeared to be nearly as close Tuesday morning, as well. According to NBC's Frank Thorp, leaders of the House Republicans are meeting in Speaker Boehner's office now, presumably with the goal of working out how the Senate compromise will progress procedurally.

New York's Jonathan Chait has preemptively declared victory for the Democrats. "The debt ceiling will be lifted," he writes, "the crisis is over, and so, too, may be the larger Constitutional struggle it unleashed." Again: skepticism is more than warranted.

10:40 a.m.: The head of Heritage Action, primary engine of the shutdown strategy, told Fox News this morning that "everybody understands" no Obamacare repeal is possible until 2017.

10:38 a.m.: Matt Drudge is pessimistic about the electoral prospects of Republicans in the aftermath of this month.

9:55 a.m.: So what are the options for avoiding default? We've outlined them.

9:42 a.m.: The House is considering voting first on the Senate plan, which would speed up the process of getting the bill signed into law, Politico reports. This would "eliminate some burdensome procedural hurdles in the Senate and require just one procedural roll call with a 60-vote threshold needed to advance the bill toward final passage in the Senate."

According to Robert Costa, Boehner will allow the measure to pass with Democratic votes — a key stumbling block since October 1.

9:17 a.m.: And now the Houston Chronicle says it regrets endorsing Ted Cruz. 

9:10 a.m.: Senate Democrats said they would roll out their compromise plan this morning, Fox's Chad Pergram reports.

8:43 a.m.: The Wall Street Journal has had enough of the House Republicans.

This is the quality of thinking—or lack thereof—that has afflicted many GOP conservatives from the beginning of this budget showdown. They picked a goal they couldn't achieve in trying to defund ObamaCare from one House of Congress, and then they picked a means they couldn't sustain politically by pursuing a long government shutdown and threatening to blow through the debt limit.

Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.: The National Review's Robert Costa summarizes the House Republican position in a greatly-overdue tweet.

He continued, explaining that they Republicans are ready for a "tough vote," and are disappointed with the "lack of strategy" from Speaker Boehner. Nor are they looking forward to the day ahead.

There is no House Republican conference meeting scheduled for this morning.


Tuesday:

10:45 p.m.: And, we're not likely to see an announcement of a deal out of the Senate tonight. 

10:10 p.m.: The Senate has adjourned until tomorrow, meaning no bill will be introduced until then. Business will begin tomorrow at noon. As for the negotiations, legislators are still reportedly "close" on a deal. 

8:17 p.m.: Negotiations are open between the GOP and Democrats in the Senate, who were close to reaching a deal last night that never materialized. According to the Huffington Post, Senate leadership is currently discussing a plan that looks quite a lot like the old plan: 

The aide said the deal would hew closely to those earlier talks between Reid and McConnell. It would fund the government through Jan. 15, raise the debt ceiling through Feb. 7, and mandate both chambers appoint budget conferees to produce a broader framework for deficit reduction by Dec. 13. 

7:56 p.m.: After a day of negotiations, it looks more and more like this is what House Republicans will have to show for their work: 

According to Strong, the Heritage Action scoring of the vote was a "key" moment in the collapse of the GOP's plan, which was supposed to get a vote tonight. "Support was already flagging, and the decision made the minds of many members sitting on the fence," he writes

7:22 p.m.: Boehner out. 

Meanwhile, the Senate could reopen talks on its stalled deal to avoid default as soon as tonight. 

7:01 p.m.: It's official. House leadership has formally cancelled tonight's vote. Some reports indicate that it's off for good. CNN's Dana Bash, for instance, is saying that the bill isn't delayed, it's dead. 

6:08 p.m.: According to Costa, It's dead. The House won't vote tonight on its proposal to reopen the government. Here's more from Costa

“The votes aren’t there,” says a leadership aide. “We’ve been amending the bill all day, but we’ve been unable to get people around this strategy.” 

Among those not interested in the deal? Rep. Thomas Massie. 

5:53 p.m.: More from The National Review's Costa. Doesn't look good for the House plan. 

5:47 p.m.: Tonight's vote could very well be off, too: 

5:43 p.m.: And now the House Rules Committee meeting, scheduled for about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, has been postponed indefinitely

5:33 p.m.: Shortly after Heritage Action's announcement that it would negatively score tonight's House vote, Erick Erickson went a bit Debbie Downer on the Tea Party: 

Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell Issa has said he'd vote for a "clean" CR in the House. 

5:17 p.m.: Heritage Action, the activist arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, announced that it opposes the House proposal and will include it in its Congressional scorecard. Heritage Action played a key role in ginning up popular opposition to Obamacare, holding a series of events at which Sen. Ted Cruz spoke in favor of defunding the measure. The full scorecard is here.

5:14 p.m.: Included in the House plan: back pay.

5:11 p.m.: As the House nears a vote on its proposal, work on the Senate side continues to be on hold, according to Politico.

At a closed-door party lunch Tuesday, McConnell made little mention of his next steps, senators said, but indicated there was “no deal” finalized between him and Reid.

The House's version of the Vitter amendment, which would eliminate the employer co-pay for Congressional staffers, doesn't appear to be something the Senate will go along with.

4:48 p.m.: One predicted trigger for Congressional action has been uncertainty in the markets. Or things like this:

Fitch's press release predictably blames Congress.

The U.S. authorities have not raised the federal debt ceiling in a timely manner before the Treasury exhausts extraordinary measures. The U.S. Treasury Secretary has said that extraordinary measures will be exhausted by 17 October, leaving cash reserves of just USD30bn. Although Fitch continues to believe that the debt ceiling will be raised soon, the political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default.

The Department of the Treasury responds.

4:40 p.m.: According to a Boehner spokesperson, the House will vote on the legislation this evening, probably at around 8 or 9 p.m. First it will be introduced at the Rules Committee, in about an hour. Here's the bill they'll be considering.

4:38 p.m.: One of the outstanding questions about the progress of a compromise bill is whether or not Senate obstructionists (e.g., Ted Cruz) are likely to try and block the legislation from passage. Talking Points Memo explains how that figures into the Senate's wait-and-see approach today.

There's an arcane procedural reason the Senate is waiting. If it were to advance its own bill through the normal channels, stalling tactics expected to be used by arch-conservatives like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) could delay passage until the weekend. But if the House were to pass a debt limit hike first, the Senate could declare the measure "privileged" and advance it quickly, possibly by amending it and sending it back.

4:30 p.m: And another unexpected change. According to TownHall.com's Guy Benson, the income verification process for those seeking subsidies for health coverage under Obamacare will be removed.

4:25 p.m.: The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza asked Congressional staffers their views on the Vitter amendment, which would act as a pay cut by forcing them to cover their own premiums. Read them all here — but here's a representative example.

4:18 p.m.: By changing the expiration of government funding from January to December, House Republicans would get one more shot at fighting Obamacare's individual mandate, NBC's Frank Thorp points out. 

3:52 p.m.: With the medical device tax out of the bill, some on the right are still looking for more Obamacare concessions, The National Review's Jonathan Strong reports. Some are pushing for a delay in the mandate that individuals buy insurance.

The House attached an individual mandate delay to one of the government-funding bills the Senate rejected before the shutdown. This would attach a measure raising the debt ceiling to a funding bill that delays the mandate.

3:40 p.m.: It appears we've gotten almost back to where we started. Fox News' Chad Pergram has details on a plan coming before the House Rules Committee.

If accurate, this is close to the original leadership proposal from this morning, except with a more robust Vitter amendment stipulation (that's the "no Obamacare money for Congressional staff" part).

3:13 p.m.: The National Review's Robert Costa explains how House Republican leadership hopes to come to agreement.

Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor aren’t panicking, and they’re planning a series of further meetings with members this afternoon. Aides say they were deliberately vague at conference about the exact contours of the legislation they’re cooking up, in order to give them maneuvering room as they meet with members and amend the bill.

2:56 p.m.: The medical device tax is now out of the House plan, Costa reports. Instead, the House will focus on the Vitter amendment — stripping lawmakers and their staffers of subsidies for their health insurance — to get enough Republican votes to raise the debt ceiling.

2:48 p.m.: GOP Rep. John Flemming fairly explicitly tells Talking Points Memo that Republicans are trying to run out the clock so they Senate is forced to accept their plan. As Talking Points Memo explains, "part of the House Republican calculus in its plan to re-open the government and raise the debt limit was trying to leverage the Thursday default deadline to their advantage in their back-and-forth with the Senate." Flemming says:

"We want to make a deal that they can't refuse, and we're running out of time. Timing is very important here. They're going to be more motivated to take this up. Otherwise, they miss the Thursday deadline."

2:44 p.m.: Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger says that if House Republicans can't pass their own plan, they will have to take up the Senate's, The New York Times reports. "If our party can’t pass this, then there’s no doubt we’re going to end up with what the Senate sends us," Kinzinger says. "Look, if my colleagues can’t muster together and sometimes accept good because they’re waiting for perfect, then that’s on them."

1:26 p.m.: Politico reports that among Republican leaders, "there’s discussion of voting on their bill and, if it passes, leaving town — a bid to try to force the Senate’s hand." If the House fails to pass its plan on Tuesday evening, Senate negotiations will restart.

1:10 p.m.: Two good explanations of proposals being floated by House Republicans.

The first, from Slate's Dave Weigel on proposals to restrict Treasury's ability to use "extraordinary measures" in the event that it can't borrow money to pay bills. In short, it's meant to make reaching the debt limit — the upper limit to the government's ability to borrow — a hard cap. We actually passed the debt ceiling in May, as we noted on Monday. But using various accounting tricks has allowed the government to pay its debts until some point soon— perhaps Thursday.

The second is a look at the contraception exception from Mother Jones. The upshot here — as it was during debate over a funding bill on September 30 — is that conservatives want religious organizations to be able to deny contraception coverage in their health care plans.

1:00 p.m.: In case you were wondering what Sarah Palin plans to write about later today, it's this:

Nice work, protestor at an Organizing for Action rally!

12:48 p.m.: Senate talks between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are now "on hold" as McConnell waits to see if Boehner can pass, Politico's Manu Raju reports. GOP Sen. Roy Blunt says Boehner has "seized the ball."

In his briefing with reporters, White House press secretary Jay Carney says "time is of the essence."

12:43 p.m.: The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza points to yet another problem Boehner has in trying to pass a debt ceiling increase with Republican support — some Republicans will only vote for an increase as long as there is an equal amount of spending cuts.

12:16 p.m.: House Republicans are reportedly unhappy with Republican leaders' response to the Senate plan (see below). Instead of the lite version of the Vitter amendment, which would take away the subsidy for lawmakers' health insurance, they want the full version, which applies to staff. ("I just don't see what they get out of screwing over their employees so much," one Republican told NBC's Luke Russert.) 

Roll Call's Daniel Newhauser reports conservatives also want "conscience protections" — meaning some health providers could opt out of contraception coverage.

Some members of Congress wanted the House to vote and then leave town, Rep. Tom Cole said, according to The Huffington Post's Sabrina Siddiqui. "We don't want a take it or leave it" approach, Cole said.

11:50 a.m.: Echoing the president's threat to veto the House proposal, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate railed against the original House proposal. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called out Boehner for not having the votes to pass it; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that it couldn't pass the Senate.

11:15 a.m.: At a brief press conference following the House Republican caucus, Speaker John Boehner stated that, "There have been no decisions about what exactly we will do." One Tea Party member, Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, told BuzzFeed's Kate Nocera to "expect changes" to the above proposal before it gets to the floor.

11:10 a.m.: Although that's not how the president sees it. From a statement released to the press:
"[T]he latest proposal from House Republicans does just that in a partisan attempt to appease a small group of Tea Party Republicans who forced the government shutdown in the first place."

Original post

Details of the House of Representatives' counter to Monday's Senate compromise budget-debt ceiling bill have emerged. It's more conservative than the Senate's proposal, but it's a far, far cry from the Tea Party demands that prompted the shutdown in the first place.

Here's what's in each proposal, as it stands first thing Tuesday morning.

House Both Senate
  • A modified version of the Vitter amendment, making members of Congress and the Cabinet (but not their staffs) choose health care plans from the Obamacare exchanges, and pay the premiums themselves
  • Two-year delay of a tax on medical device manufacturers
  • Prevent Treasury from using "extraordinary measures" to pay bills if the debt ceiling date is breached
  • Fund the government at September 30 / sequestered levels until January 15
  • Suspend the debt ceiling until February 7
  • New income verification requirements for people signing up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges
  • A one-year delay to the "reinsurance" fee (explained here)
  • Conference committee to work out a longer-term budget deal (this may be in the final House bill, too)


You'll notice what's missing: Any significant changes to Obamacare. Yes, there's the punitive Vitter thing, though the long-term effects of that apply only to a few members of the government. The various tax changes apply only to particular interest groups — device manufacturers in one case, primarily labor unions in the other. But the push to hold Obama's feet to the fire over a repeal of the Affordable Care Act? Left on the battlefield.

What's more, The National Review's Robert Costa suggests that only the "hardliners" criticized the House proposal during the House caucus. (By hardliners, he almost certainly means people like Reps. Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Paul Broun, and Steve King.)

There's still a lot of uncertainty about how this will pass the House and what happens next with the Senate. One possibility is that the House will present the bill as its last, best, and final offer, a take-it-or-leave-it move for the Senate to, well, take or leave.

Interestingly, Boehner may not be whipping votes for the proposal — that is, he may, according to the Washington Examiner's David Drucker, simply bring the proposal to the floor without first gauging reaction from his caucus. But he may not need to worry about it, if this report from Rep. Darrell Issa is correct.

Perhaps a better song would have been "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."