Politics

House passes Boehner’s Budget Control Act

After a wild and bumpy ride, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed Speaker of the House John Boehner’s Budget Control Act Friday evening. The vote fell along party lines at 218–210, with 22 Republicans voting against the bill.

House passage comes after many hours of arm-twisting and negotiating to get enough of the GOP freshmen class to promise a “yes” vote. At several points, the plan was on life support with little chance of surviving. (RELATED: Obama makes last-ditch plea for a debt deal)

One of the later conversions came Friday afternoon with Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona.

But it wasn’t without significant tweaks to Boehner’s plan. The speaker added a provision Friday morning that made a second tranche of money to raise the debt ceiling in six months from the passage of a balanced budget amendment.

Yet however much of a victory this is for the House GOP, the Budget Control Act is likely doomed. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has publicly said the bill will fail in the upper chamber. And today, President Barack Obama essentially said getting the bill to pass in the House had been a waste of time.

“[It] does not solve the problem,” said Obama.

“Today I urge Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to find common ground on a plan that can get support from both parties in the House, a plan that I can sign by Tuesday,” he added.

Reid is also pushing his own debt limit plan. More movement on that could come later on Friday and over the weekend.

UPDATE: The White House released a statement on the House passing Boehner’s plan.

The bill passed today in the House with exclusively Republican votes would have us face another debt ceiling crisis in just a few months by demanding the Constitution be amended or America defaults. This bill has been declared dead on arrival in the Senate. Now that yet another political exercise is behind us, with time dwindling, leaders need to start working together immediately to reach a compromise that avoids default and lays the basis for balanced deficit reduction.

Senator Reid’s proposal is a basis for that compromise. It not only achieves more deficit reduction than the bill passed in the House today and puts a process in place to achieve even more savings, it also removes the uncertainty surrounding the risk of default. The President urges Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to find common ground on a plan that can get support from both parties in the House — a plan the President can sign by Tuesday.

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