In the high-stakes effort to reduce the federal deficit and raise the debt ceiling, House Republicans drew from a famous Notre Dame football pre-game tradition behind closed doors on Thursday before a potential cliffhanger vote on Speaker John Boehner’s plan. Several attendees described the session as a pep rally of sorts as Boehner sought support to pass his bill.
“Let's go out there and kick the ---- out of them!” shouted Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., according to lawmakers in the room. Members said Kelly brought a Notre Dame football sign reminiscent of the “Play Like A Champion” banner the college players slap before hitting the gridiron.
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However, House Republicans’ brewing enthusiasm about their two-step debt ceiling proposal is short-sighted about the reality that lies ahead. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., with the backing of his entire caucus, opposes the Boehner plan. The Senate is expected to modify the bill to ensure greater protections to ensure the debt ceiling is raised again early next year. Neither the White House nor Democrats are willing to have the same debate in an election year, and the White House remains concerned that Boehner’s plan will not do enough to prevent the ongoing threat of a credit rating downgrade.