WASHINGTON — Unable to corral his restive troops around a debt ceiling plan, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced today he would bring a bill to the House floor to allow continued federal borrowing with no strings attached.
A vote is set for tonight on the measure. Boehner will need to rely on Democrats for passage since many GOP legislators continue to oppose any effort to lift the ceiling on federal debt.
Democrats are expected to back the debt-limit increase, which the Treasury has said needs to pass by Feb. 27 to continue paying the nation’s bills and avoid a catastrophic debt default.
With the House about to recess for more than a week, Boehner was racing the clock to devise a plan. Republicans had wanted to tie the debt ceiling increase to a demand for changes in some government policy, but they failed to agree on what to ask for. That inability underscored the difficulty Boehner continues to have in leading his majority.
Republicans shelved a last-ditch effort to tie the debt increase to legislation that would have reversed a 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment for younger retired military personnel after finding it did not have enough support to pass. Many lawmakers want to undo the cut, but were unwilling to vote for the debt ceiling increase even with the repeal measure attached.