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House GOP Conservative-Moderate Rift Boils Over

Image: House GOP Conservative-Moderate Rift Boils Over

By    |   Tuesday, 15 Oct 2013 10:56 PM

Conservative and moderate House Republicans reportedly were in near revolt Tuesday as the GOP leadership failed to craft a proposal to end the government shutdown and avert a fiscal showdown.

President Barack Obama attributed the problem to House Speaker John Boehner's inability "to control his caucus."

"[T]here have been repeated situations where we have agreements, then he goes back, and then it turns out that he can't control his caucus," Obama said, according to The Hill.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

"So, the challenge here is, 'Can you deliver on agreements that are made?"

An exasperated Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid lobbed an angry swipe at the House speaker, saying Boehner "once again tried to preserve his role at the expense of the country," the Washington Times reported.

But the real rancor Tuesday was between the conservative and moderate wings of House Republicans — and it played out in an extraordinary clash of wills, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Months of debate within the Republican Party about how to fund the government and avoid a debt default came to a boil at a morning meeting in a Capitol Hill basement, where more conservative members made their displeasure known about Boehner's proposal — as well as their weakened negotiating position, the Journal reported.

Meanwhile, other, longer-serving lawmakers interrupted their speeches with heckles, the Journal reported — and an argument broke out about how to improve the GOP proposal.

The budget fight, however, only illustrated the longstanding rift between conservatives —  who are willing to upend traditional ways of doing business to slow the growth of federal spending and dismantle the Affordable Care Act — and more-veteran moderates, who see these actions as damaging to the party, the Journal reported.

But it's become personal for Boehner, whose speakership repeatedly has been questioned by his own rank-and-file, the Journal reported.

On Tuesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., who served with Boehner in the House, said failure to pass the House plan would put the speaker "in a compromised situation" — though conservative Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., praised Boehner for standing up for  conservatives' priorities, the Journal reported.

At Tuesday's meeting, Boehner bluntly said the proposal was just "putting lipstick" on a separate plan being hatched by Senate leaders, lawmakers in attendance told the Journal.

The proposal would raise the debt ceiling and open the government, while also adding a two-year delay of a tax on medical-device makers and a prohibition on health-care subsidies for the president, his cabinet and members of Congress.

Urgent: Should GOP Stick to Its Guns on Obamacare? Vote Here.

"We're running out of time," Boehner warned, lawmakers told the Journal.

But more outspoken conservatives complained about the offer — and about being sidelined since late last week.

While GOP leaders bowed to conservative demands by changing the plan to extend the health-insurance prohibition to staffers and to fund the government through Dec. 15, it wasn't enough.

"This is it," said Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.. "The Star Wars convention ends today."




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Conservative and moderate House Republicans reportedly were in near revolt Tuesday, as the GOP leadership failed to craft a proposal to end the shutdown and avert a fiscal showdown.
house,gop,revolt shutdown
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2013-56-15
Tuesday, 15 Oct 2013 10:56 PM
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