As the government shutdown approaches its second week, House Republicans seem to be seeing the writing on the wall as their poll numbers plummet, with a growing number of them seeking a bipartisan deal to avoid a default on the debt.
However, Paul Ryan has different plans in mind. This weekend, the GOP senator and former VP candidate tried to drum up support from conservatives to support his plan to raise the debt ceiling while keeping the government funded.
The plan would fund the government through March and raise the debt ceiling through January. However, Democrats outright rejected the idea, saying that the proposal would uphold sequestration cuts for too long.
According to the Washington Post, Ryan said in a private meeting with House GOPers that Republicans would “lose leverage” in their fight against Obamacare if they were to kick the can down the road.
In the report from the Post:
According to two Republicans familiar with the exchange, Ryan argued that the House would need those deadlines as “leverage” for delaying the health-care law’s individual mandate and adding a “conscience clause” — allowing employers and insurers to opt out of birth-control coverage if they find it objectionable on moral or religious grounds — and mentioned tax and entitlement goals Ryan had focused on in a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
Ryan’s speech appeared only to further rile up the conservative wing of the GOP conference, which has been agitating the shutdown strategy to try to tear apart the health-care law.
Attention has turned to the Senate after negotiations between the White House and House Republicans became dead in the water. Although talks continued between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell (R-KY), no progress has yet been made.