ABC News’ John R. Parkinson (@JRPabcDC) reports:
House Speaker John Boehner says he believes his plan to avert default on the government’s debt will pass in the House of Representatives later this evening, and called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats to follow suit and send the bill to the White House.
“Today the House will take action again on a solution to end the debt limit crisis,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “We’ll take action again, just like we did on our budget, on solutions to the problems that are facing our nation. After today, the House will have sent to the Senate not one, but two different bills that will rein in spending, increase the debt ceiling and bring an end to this crisis.”
“When the House takes action today, the United States Senate will have no more excuses for inaction,” he added. “This is a challenging time for our country. Americans are worried about their job, they’re worried about our economy and they’re worried about our debt.”
Boehner emphasized that the legislation was “not perfect” but is the product of a bipartisan compromise, although he is still delivering on his pledge to cut spending more than the increase of the debt limit without raising taxes.
“I’ve never said it was perfect. Nobody in my caucus believes it’s perfect, but what this bill reflects is a sincere, honest effort to end this crisis in a bipartisan way, to send it to the Senate where it can receive action,” Boehner said. “There are no gimmicks; there are no smoke screens…For the sake of jobs, for the sake of our country, I’m asking the representatives in the House in a bipartisan way and asking my colleagues in the Senate, let’s pass this bill and end this crisis.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor slammed Reid for trashing each attempt from the House to increase the debt limit while at the same time suggesting that a financial meltdown is imminent if lawmakers are unable to send a final bill to the White House for the president’s signature before next Tuesday.
“We’ve heard a lot from the majority leader in the United States Senate and when he says that we are going to face economic collapse if we don’t get something done by Tuesday, but yet he keeps killing the measures that we send over and threatening to do the same with the one that we will send over today,” Cantor, R-Va., said. “Harry Reid can’t have it both ways. The fact is the president has asked us to compromise. We’ve compromised.”
Cantor said the legislation “represents a bipartisan negotiated agreement” and gets the country past the immediate threat of default.
“Harry Reid has three different options,” Cantor said. “One is to suffer the economic consequences of default, which I hope — which all of us hope he doesn’t choose; two is to bring up the bill that we sent prior, the one that he claims to be opposed to; or to accept the compromise bill that we are sending over today so we can resolve this crisis and get on about the business of this country.”
Boehner said he disagreed with House Republicans who have suggested that he should wait until after the Aug. 2 to get a better deal and improve the GOP’s negotiating position.
“I’ve heard that comment made from some of my colleagues. I disagree,” Boehner said. “With the fragile economy that we have, the last thing we need to do is be playing around with August the 2nd, and the unknown.”
“We’re going to pass a very responsible answer to this crisis, and our solution was put together by the bipartisan leaders here in Congress. There is no reason for them to say no. It’s time for somebody in this town to say yes,” Boehner said. “We’ve said yes on a budget. We’ve said yes on a plan last week. Now we’re saying yes again this week on a plan. When is somebody on the other side of the aisle going to take yes for an answer?”