House Republicans expressed doubts about Senate Republican ideas. House Democrats mounted a public effort to force a vote on reopening the government, angering Republicans. The White House was largely silent.
Congress must do its job and raise the debt limit to pay the bills we have incurred and avoid default, said Press Secretary Jay Carney. Congress needs to move forward with a solution that reopens the government and allows us to pay our bills so we can move on to the business of achieving a broader budget deal that creates jobs, grows the economy and strengthens the middle class.
Perhaps because it was a Saturday, and markets dont open until Monday, the urgency that had dominated talk and intrigue throughout the week ebbed. The House took some routine votes, then left until Monday night.
Senators spent part of their day considering a proposal authored by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. She proposed reopening the government immediately and providing six months of funding. The debt limit would be extended through January 31.
Collins would delay the medical device tax, a plan that has in the past won bipartisan support. The tax helps pay for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. She also proposes giving government agencies more flexibility to deal with automatic spending cuts, or sequestration. Many Democrats balked, saying her budget was not spending enough, and the White House signaled it was cool to the idea.
So were House Republicans. I charitably am not thrilled with what Im reading, said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.
Democrats were also digging in. House Democrats mounted a bid to force the House to take up a government funding bill, an effort given little chances.
Democrats began circulating a petition to get the bill considered. But it needs a majority of house membersmeaning that if all Democrats sign, 17 Republicans were still neededand thats seen as highly unlikely.