House Crumbles, Default Looms

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from The Huffington Post,

House Republicans withdrew their ill-starred proposal keep the government open Tuesday night after conservative groups objected, leaving in limbo any plan to reopen the government or prevent the nation from defaulting on its debt.

The Treasury Department has warned that America is in danger of defaulting starting Thursday, risking economic calamity.

House leaders had set a 5:40 p.m. rules hearing to move ahead, but canceled it after the Heritage Foundation, Red State and FreedomWorks all slammed as unacceptable. Democrats earlier hammered the plan as out of bounds.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the Rules Committee chairman, emerged from House Speaker John Boehner’s office to declare any further activity dead until Wednesday.

“There will be no action, no votes, and the rules committee will not be meeting tonight,” Sessions told reporters.

“It was hard for them to get the votes anyway, and then when Heritage came out, that killed it,” said Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who has opposed the House GOP strategy of trying to using government funding and the debt ceiling as leverage to defund Obamacare. “I guess they weren’t expecting this,” he said of GOP leaders, who he credited with at least trying to find a way forward.

The plan that House Republicans had tried to move ahead would have funded government until Dec. 15, extended the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling until Feb. 7, and temporarily eliminated the Treasury Department ability to use the “extraordinary measures” it has employed since the nation began bumping into the borrowing cap in May.

The bill’s key attack on Obamacare — the original target of the government shutdown and debt fight — was to block members of Congress and their staffs from getting health insurance contributions through their employer when they shop for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges.

But that was not good enough for conservative interest groups.

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