DENVER (CBS4) – There had been talk the U.S. House of Representatives could vote Tuesday night on a new bill that would reopen the government and keep the country from falling over the fiscal cliff, but it all collapsed again.
The latest Republican plan would have reopened the government until Dec. 15, raised the debt ceiling or federal borrowing limit through Feb. 7, and canceled special health insurance subsidies for Congress and the president. But Tuesday evening Speaker of the House John Boehner said he wouldn’t bring it to a vote.
It was a plan that Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner was certain would pass.
“We’ll pass the bill tonight, the Republicans will support it,” Gardner said. “I believe we’ll pick up Democrat support.”
But just after 4 p.m. Tuesday the plan fell apart. House Republicans couldn’t even get enough votes from their own party, let alone Democrats.
The bill would have not only reopened the government and lifted the debt ceiling, it would have forced the president and Congress to pay more for health insurance.
“I think it’s important that everyone be treated equally, that we don’t have special treatment for members of Congress and the president,” Gardner said. “That’s why the House will advance tonight a measure to end that special treatment.”
But Democrats said they would oppose any bill with strings attached; and Tea Party Republicans rebelled, saying the bill didn’t go far enough toward dismantling the health care law.
“The issue is the split in Republican caucus in the House, and there are a few of them in the Senate too of people who have a political ideology that I don’t think reflects conventional Republican thought, much less Democratic or Independent thought,” Sen. Michael Bennet said.
The Senate had been close to reaching a bipartisan deal on Monday, but put a vote on hold Tuesday to see what the House would do. Now it’s under incredible time constraints to get a measure passed and through the House.
The treasury says the government will start running out of money to pay its bills on Thursday.
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