Federal Relations

October 15, 2013

Shutdown & Debt Limit: Two Chambers, Two Competing Proposals

While discussions are happening and proposals are beginning to take shape, there still is not a clear solution that will reopen the government or raise the debt ceiling before we hit the current limit on Thursday.

Senate leaders have been negotiating a deal for the past couple of days and appeared to be somewhat close to bringing it to the floor for a vote. Harry Reid described Tuesday as a “bright day”.¬†¬†That process and optimism was abruptly halted today when the House GOP announced that they were introducing their own plan to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. Not surprisingly, the House and Senate plans are rumored to differ in some key ways which offers challenges in finding common ground with both chambers and getting something passed in the next 36 hours.

The Senate bill is thought to contain a short term plan to reopen the government and extend the debt limit while forcing bipartisan talks for a longer term solution. The House legislation includes a similar plan, but also tacks on certain Obamacare related provisions. The Senate has put their talks on hold to see what the House does next – although democrats and the White House have already openly dismissed the GOP plan. House Republicans are expected to bring their bill to the floor sometime this evening, although the latest news is that they are having trouble finding the votes in the their own part to pass the bill.