In a night of congressional drama, House Speaker John Boehner comes up short and delays consideration of his proposal to raise the federal borrowing cap
House leaders decided to delay a vote late Thursday on legislation authored by House Speaker John Boehner to reduce the deficit and raise the nation's debt ceiling, acknowledging that it still lacked the votes needed for passage.
The postponement, announced shortly after 10:30 p.m., means a vote could occur on Friday, but the fate of the bill was uncertain. Republican leaders spent hours furiously whipping the bill, but still apparently fell short of the 216 votes necessary for passage. House Democrats were expressing unity in opposition to the bill. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor's 500 Index both were down 0.5 percent, as of Friday morning.
Along with announcing that a vote on Thursday would not occur, House Republicans announced the Rules Committee would convene to bestow a status on the bill that would allow it to be voted on the same day that any changes are made to it.
"The votes--obviously--they're not there," said Rules Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif. Of taking the measure back to the Rules Committee, he said, "This is not a step we take lightly."
Boehner to Jordan: Vote With Me or Lose Your District
No Way Out? Five Keys to a Debt Deal
Beneath Clash Over Debt, a Divided Public
A GOP leadership aide sought to cast the delay as in the public's interest: "When we took the majority we promised to end the practice of forcing substantial bills through the House in the dark of night, and we take that pledge seriously."