POLITICS: PennAve

Steny Hoyer hopes no Democrats vote for latest GOP plan

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Congress,Steve Contorno,House of Representatives,John Boehner,Debt Ceiling,PennAve,Steny Hoyer,Budgets and Deficits,Government Shutdown

Rep. Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, will whip his caucus against voting for the latest proposal to emerge from House Republican leaders to open the government and avert breaching the nation's borrowing limit.

Hoyer, D-Md., called the latest salvo from the GOP a "scheme" that had no chance of passing the Senate and said Democratic leaders would be urging members not to support it.

"[House Republicans] didn't come up with any option that was viable and they're now apparently fearful that reasonable people in the Senate may come together with a bill that will open up the government, provide for the payment of our debt and get us to the conference table to discuss a longer term fiscal sustainable path," Hoyer said.

Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, met with his caucus early Tuesday morning to lay out a proposal that would fund the government through mid-January, raise the debt ceiling until Feb. 7 and set up a budget conference with the Senate -- hree key elements of a bipartisan plan Senate leaders were hashing out. But it also would strip the Treasury Department's power to use extraordinary measures to avoid a default on the nation's debt, which President Obama and Democrats are united against.

"That's not an acceptable policy," Hoyer said, because it would create a "hostage-ransom" situation in budget negotiations where a default could be avoided only if Obama concedes to House Republicans.

Boehner could force a vote on his plan as early as Tuesday evening, though it's not clear if he has enough support within his own caucus to get 218 votes.

Asked if any Democrats would help get the bill across the finish line, Hoyer said simply, "I hope not."

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