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POLITICS: PennAve

House GOP nixes Senate debt plan, offers own 11th hour proposal

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Politics,White House,Congress,Susan Ferrechio,Senate,House of Representatives,Republican Party,Debt Ceiling,PennAve,Government Shutdown,House Republicans

House Republicans said Tuesday that they will move their own bill to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling rather than take up a Senate compromise that they say doesn't do enough to curb Obamacare.

Like the Senate bill, the House measure would immediately reopen the government and fund it through Jan. 15. Both measures would also raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7, giving the government the immediate borrowing authority it needs to avoid a default on Thursday.

The Senate bill worked out by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would have delayed for two years Obamacare's medical device tax and stiffened verification requirements for Americans applying for government insurance subsidies.

The House version includes both of those provisions and tacks on another that would strip members of Congress — though not their staffs — of the employer subsidy they now get to help pay for their own health insurance.

Unlike the Senate bill, the House would not give lawmakers until Dec. 13 to negotiate funding levels for 2014. Democrats have insisted that they be given an opportunity to raise the current levels set by the across-the-board sequestration cuts before the next round of cuts kicks in in January.

While the House would extend a debt ceiling increase until Feb. 7, as does the Senate, the House would not allow the Treasury Department to take extraordinary steps to continue borrowing to pay its debts beyond that date. The Senate bill gave Treasury greater flexibility on the deadline.

It was still unclear early Tuesday how the House proposal will affect discussions within the Senate and between the White House and Senate.

President Obama is set to meet with Democratic leaders to discuss the House and Senate measures Tuesday at 3:15 p.m.

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