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Posts tagged ‘Susan Collins’

Cruz: Debt Ceiling ‘Trickery’ Shows Why Americans Hate Congress.


Senators and their “trickery” on last week’s vote on the debt ceiling was “a perfect illustration of everything that is wrong in Washington,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says.

“Republican leadership said, we want this to pass but if every senator affirmatively consents to doing it on 51 votes, then we can all cast a vote ‘no’ and we can go home to our constituents and say we opposed it,” the Republican freshman senator told CNN’s Dana Bash on Thursday.

That “show vote,” Cruz continued, is the “sort of trickery to the constituents [which] is why Congress has a 13 percent approval rating.”

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Story continues below video.

The Senate last week approved the “clean” debt-ceiling bill, but two key Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas voted to end Cruz’s filibuster on the legislation.

Cruz had called for a 60-vote threshold to end debate on the measure, but after discussions among GOP senators on the floor of the chamber, McConnell and Cornyn came forward to cast “aye” votes to end debate — a move called “cloture.”

A total of 12 Republican senators voted to invoke cloture, joining with 53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with Democrats. The bill then advanced to the floor and was approved 55-43 on a straight party-line vote.

Besides McConnell and Cornyn, the other Republicans voting against Cruz were Sens. John Barrasso, Wyoming; Susan Collins, Maine; Bob Corker, Tennessee; Jeff Flake, Arizona; Orrin Hatch, Utah; Mike Johanns, Nebraska; Mark Kirk, Illinois; John McCain, Arizona; Lisa Murkowski, Alaska; and John Thune, South Dakota.

Cruz told Bash that he likes Cornyn and has agreed with him on many issues, but disagrees with him on the debt ceiling vote.

“What I said at the outset was that I am not going to affirmatively consent to giving [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid the authority to do this,” Cruz said. “It’s irresponsible, and it’s sending our nation’s future down the road.”

But he denies criticism that he “threw five Republicans under the bus.”

“My response is, I don’t want to throw any Republicans under the bus,” Cruz said. “I want to see all 45 Republicans stand together and actually do what we tell our constituents we are going to do.”

Overall, Cruz said, lawmakers need to be honest with their constituents.

“Last week, what it was all about was truth and transparency,” he said.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

GOP Senate Leadership Bucks Cruz’s 60-Vote Debt Ceiling Bid.


Image: GOP Senate Leadership Bucks Cruz's 60-Vote Debt Ceiling Bid

After a dramatic Senate tally in which top GOP leaders cast the crucial votes, must-pass legislation to allow the government to borrow money to pay its bills cleared Congress Wednesday for President Barack Obama’s signature.

The Senate approved the measure by a near party-line 55-43 vote. All of the “aye” votes came from Obama’s Democratic allies.

But the vote to pass the measure was anticlimactic after a dramatic 67-31 tally — held open for more than an hour — in which the measure cleared a filibuster hurdle insisted on by tea party Republican Ted Cruz of Texas. The Senate’s top two Republicans — both facing tea party challenges in their GOP primaries this year — provided crucial momentum after a knot of Republicans in the Senate well were clearly unhappy at having to walk the plank.

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After Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Minority Whip John Cornyn, voted “aye” several other Republicans switched their votes in solidarity. Twelve Republicans ultimately voted to help the measure advance but the tally appeared to be in doubt for several anxious minutes.

“A lot of people stepped up and did what they needed to do,” said Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who voted to advance the bill, as did Mark Kirk of Illinois, who said: “Members didn’t want to” vote for it.

The 12 Republicans who voted against Cruz’s measure were: John Barrasso, Wyo.; Susan Collins, Maine; Bob Corker, Tenn.; John Cornyn, Texas; Jeff Flake, Ariz.; Orrin Hatch, Utah; Mike Johanns, Neb.; Mark Kirk, Ill.; John McCain, Ariz.; Mitch McConnell, Ky.; Lisa Murkowski, Alaska; John Thune, S.D.

Cruz’s demands irritated Republicans because it forced several of them, particularly McConnell, to cast a difficult vote. McConnell faces a May primary against tea party candidate Matt Bevin, whose supporters adamantly oppose increasing the debt limit.

“In my view, every Republican should stand together against raising the debt ceiling without meaningful structural reforms to rein in our out of control spending,” Cruz said.

After the tally, Cruz said he had no regrets, saying the “Senate has given President Obama a blank check.”

Asked about forcing a difficult vote upon McConnell, Cruz said: “That is ultimately a decision … for the voters of Kentucky.”

The legislation would permit Treasury to borrow normally for another 13 months and then reset the government’s borrowing cap, currently set at $17.2 trillion, after that.

It passed the House Tuesday after Republicans gave up efforts to use the debt ceiling measure to win concessions from Obama on GOP agenda items like winning approval of construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The measure is required so that the government can borrow to pay bills like Social Security benefits, federal salaries, and payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers.

Quick action on the debt limit bill stands in contrast to lengthy showdowns in 2012 and last fall when Republicans sought to use the critically necessary measure as leverage to win concessions from Obama. They succeeded in 2011, winning about $2 trillion in spending cuts, but Obama has been unwilling to negotiate over the debt limit since his re-election, and Wednesday’s legislation is the third consecutive debt measure passed without White House concessions.

Republicans have been less confrontational after October’s 16-day partial government shutdown sent GOP poll numbers skidding and chastened the party’s tea party faction. Republicans have instead sought to focus voters’ attention on the implementation and effects of Obama’s health care law.

The measure is required so that the government can borrow to pay all of its bills, including Social Security benefits, federal salaries, payments to Medicare and Medicaid providers and interest on the accumulated debt. Congress has never failed to act to prevent a default on U.S. obligations, which most experts say would spook financial markets and spike interest rates.

Most Republicans say any increase in the debt ceiling should be accompanied by cuts to the spiraling costs of costly benefit programs like Medicare.

“We need some reform before we raise the debt ceiling. We need to demonstrate that we are taking steps that will reduce the accumulation of debt in the future,” said Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, top Republican on the Budget Committee. “And the president and the Democratic Senate have just flatly refused. So they’ve just said, `We’ll accept no restraint on spending’.”

Some Republicans seemed irked that Cruz wouldn’t let the bill pass without forcing it to clear a 60-vote threshold that required some Republicans to walk the plank and help it advance..

“I’m not going to talk about that,” said Orrin Hatch when asked if Republicans are annoyed with Cruz.

Passage of the debt limit measure without any extraneous issues comes after House GOP leaders tried for weeks to find a formula to pass a version of their own that included Republican agenda items like approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and repeal of an element of the health care law. But a sizable faction of House Republicans simply refuse to vote for any increase in the government’s borrowing abilities, which forced House Speaker John Boehner to turn to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to pass the measure on the strength of Democrats.

The debt measure permits Treasury to borrow regularly through March 15, 2015, putting the issue off until after the November elections and setting it up for the new Congress to handle next year. If Republicans take over the Senate, they’re likely to insist on linking the debt ceiling to spending cuts and other GOP agenda items, but for now at least, the issue is being handled the old fashioned way, with the party of the incumbent president being responsible for supplying the votes to pass it but with the minority party not standing in the way.

“I think we will go back to the responsible way of making sure that our country does not default,” said Democratic Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray.

Senate action Wednesday would safely clear the debt issue off of Washington’s plate weeks in advance of the Feb. 27 deadline set last week by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. The debt limit was reset to $17.2 trillion after a four-month suspension of the prior, $16.7 trillion limit expired last Friday. Lew promptly began employing accounting maneuvers to buy time for Congress to act.

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© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

Ex-Sen. Joe Lieberman: Hillary Will Be Democrat Nominee in ’16.


There’s little or no doubt that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the next Democratic presidential nominee, although she could face some early competition, according to former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman.

“If she runs, and I guess she’ll run, then she’ll be the nominee of the party,” Lieberman told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“Interestingly, there could be somebody from the left who will take Hillary on because they think she’s too moderate.

“Unless something really agitating is happening, I don’t think that will be successful – something like a war that she’s supporting … So my guess is she’ll be the Democratic nominee. She’ll be formidable, but it depends on who the Republicans nominate.”

Story continues below video.

Clinton will likely have to answer questions about her role in the lack of security at the consulate in Benghazi, where terrorists killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Lieberman believes.

He and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine were among those who conducted an early Senate investigation into the attack.

“Our conclusions were very close to what the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation reported last week,” he said.

“We called our report ‘Flashing Red’ because, looking back, you look at the intelligence reports about the terrorist extremists gathering in Benghazi, you see that there is a consulate there with very little protection and it just seems inevitable that there’s going to be an attack on that consulate.

“Also, that there was no real ability of a defense department to get help to our people out there. So our conclusion was …. the U.S. government — State Department, in this case — should have provided more security at Benghazi or should have closed up the consulate.”

Lieberman says his probe never found “any specific proof that Hillary Clinton sort of made a decision not to provide more security. So the real question … will be to what extent is she culpable for things that happened in the State Department?

“She’s answered that to some extent, but I’m sure she’ll be asked it more and more over the next couple of years, particularly if she runs for president.”

Lieberman finds it “unusual” that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will not bring a House bill calling for additional sanctions against Iran — which is in nuclear disarmament talks with the United States — reportedly at the request of President Barack Obama.

“When it comes to Iran, the threat to the United States, to our allies in the Middle East particularly Israel, is so clear that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, it changes the world for us, for our kids, for our grandkids,” he said.

“I don’t get why the administration opposes this … I just have a confidence that in the end, Sen. Reid’s going to have to bring it up and when he does it’s going to pass … and I got to tell you that I don’t think President Obama will veto it …

“Incidentally the Iranians threaten to leave the negotiations if this legislation passes… I don’t believe that either. They’ll hang right in there because so far the negotiations have worked to their benefit.”

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Bill Hoffmann

Moderate Senators Hope to Prevent Government Shutdown.


A self-appointed group of bipartisan senators are waiting in the wings to prevent a government shutdown next month just in case the official panel of House and Senate leaders fails to reach a budget compromise.

Moderate Sens. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, and Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, call their group of 16 members the “common sense caucus” and say that if leaders fail to reach an agreement by the Dec. 13 deadline, they will do the work for them.

“They’re making some headway. Not as much as I’d like to see,” Manchin told Politico.

“If they fall and get nothing and you come on the eve of a shutdown? You don’t want that to happen. We’re not going to let that happen,” Manchin said.

If the appointed conference committee chaired by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington fails, the government would face another shutdown at the beginning of 2014.

A temporary shutdown in October led by Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was a failed attempt to overturn the law that created Obamacare and lasted 16 days.

The self-appointed group of moderates has been quietly meeting since the shutdown to discuss lifting the debt ceiling, delay the new health care medical device tax, require strict income verification for subsidized healthcare, and shifting budget cuts.

However, Politico also reports that assistance from the caucus may not be needed, as Ryan’s group is close to reaching a deal.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Audrey Hudson

It’s All Down to Reid and McConnell as Default Talks Founder.


The focus of efforts to end the government shutdown and prevent a U.S. default shifted to the Senate on Saturday, where leaders were in talks aimed at resolving the twin stalemates.

Word of the negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and the top Republican, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, emerged as the Senate, as expected, rejected a Democratic effort to raise the government’s borrowing limit through next year.

“This bill would have taken the threat of default off the table and given our nation’s businesses and the economy the certainty we need,” the White House said in a statement.

Republicans objected because they want the extension to be accompanied by spending cuts.

The spotlight turned to the Senate as the partial shutdown reached its 12th day. It also came with the calendar edging closer to Oct. 17, when administration officials have said the government will deplete its ability to borrow money, risking a first-time federal default that could jolt the world economy.

House Speaker John Boehner told fellow Republicans earlier Saturday that his talks with President Barack Obama had stalled.

“The Senate needs to hold tough,” Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon said Boehner told House GOP lawmakers. “The president now isn’t negotiating with us.”

GOP senators said the talks between Reid and McConnell had started Friday. That was confirmed by Senate Democratic aides.

“The only thing that’s happening right now is Sen. Reid and Sen. McConnell are talking. And I view that as progress,” said the second-ranking Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas.

Saturday’s Senate vote derailing the Democrats’ debt-limit measure was a near party-line 53-45 in favor of the bill. That fell seven short of the 60 required to overcome Republican objections to considering the measure.

The White House said it was “unfortunate that the common-sense, clean debt limit increase proposed by Senate Democrats was refused a yes or no vote.”

House conservatives said Obama was to blame for the talks with their chamber running aground.

“Perhaps he sees this as the best opportunity for him to win the House in 2014,” said Rep. John Fleming, R-La. “It’s very clear to us he does not now, and never had, any intentions of negotiating.”

“It doesn’t have to be this way. It’s not supposed to be this way,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. “Manufacturing crises to extract massive concessions isn’t how our democracy works, and we have to stop it. Politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation — not extortion.”

A bipartisan group of senators, closely watched by Senate leaders, is polishing a plan aimed at reaching compromise with Obama.

An emerging proposal by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and others would pair a six-month plan to keep the government open with an increase in the government’s borrowing limit through January.

Obama has turned away a House plan to link the reopening of the government — and a companion measure to temporarily increase the government’s borrowing cap — to concessions on the budget.

In the face of disastrous opinion polls, GOP leaders have signaled they will make sure the debt limit is increased with minimal damage to the financial markets. But they’re still seeking concessions as a condition for reopening the government.

Obama met Senate Republicans on Friday and heard a pitch from Collins on raising the debt limit until the end of January, reopening the government and cutting the health care law at its periphery.

The plan also would strengthen income verification for people receiving subsidies through the health care law and set up a broader set of budget talks.

The Collins proposal would delay for two years a medical-device tax that helps finance the health care law, and it would subject millions of individuals eligible for subsidies to purchase health insurance under the program to stronger income verification.

Collins said Obama said the proposal “was constructive, but I don’t want to give the impression that he endorsed it.”

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McConnell to Newsmax: Reid’s Debt-Ceiling Proposal ‘Unacceptable’

Collins Plan Brings Hope That Shutdown Is Near End

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: NEWSmax.com

Boehner: Obama Rejected Latest GOP Offer on Debt.


House Speaker John Boehner told fellow Republicans Saturday that President Barack Obama has rejected his latest fiscal offer, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho revealed.

The speaker also told members that talks are continuing with the White House, according to another person in the room who sought anonymity to discuss the private meeting,

“The president rejected our deal,” Labrador told reporters after leaving Republicans’ closed-door meeting in Washington.

House Republican leaders’ plan would extend U.S. borrowing authority to Nov. 22 from Oct. 17 and would make some changes to Obama’s healthcare law, structured in a way that could meet the political needs of each side to claim success.

“The president has a number of concerns” about Boehner’s proposal, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Friday after Boehner and Obama spoke by telephone about the speaker’s offer. The president is concerned that extending the debt ceiling for a short period while budget talks occur would lead to a replay of the same brinkmanship the U.S. is experiencing, Carney said.

White House officials opened the door to talks on ending the government shutdown, even as they held firm on raising the debt ceiling without conditions. When asked whether the White House was shifting its position, Carney hedged, saying the administration was “encouraged” by “constructive signs coming from the Republicans.”

On the other side of the Capitol, Senate Democrats may hold a test vote Saturday on their plan, which would push the next debt-limit fight into 2015 and includes no policy conditions. A vote that draws support from some Senate Republicans, who have said they are dissatisfied with the brinkmanship of House Republicans, may increase pressure on Boehner.

House Democrats said today they will try to use a procedural move known as a discharge petition to force a vote on a bill to end the shutdown without policy conditions. The move is a long shot; it would require Republicans who support it to break with Boehner in ways they haven’t on other procedural matters.

“We know the votes are there,” Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, told reporters. “Let’s vote to open the government now.”

The indications of progress bolstered financial markets Friday. U.S. shares rallied for a second day following the biggest jump since January and gold plunged to a three-month low while the yen weakened and oil slid. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.6 percent to 1,703.20 yesterday in New York after jumping 2.2 percent the previous day.
The rate on $93 billion in Treasury bills due Oct. 24 was at 0.26 percent, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data, after climbing as high as 0.50 percent on Oct. 10. It was zero as recently as Sept. 19. The rate on bills due Nov. 29 was at 0.16 percent, the highest since the security was issued.

House and Senate Republicans are starting to narrow their demands for healthcare law changes, as polls show Americans are largely blaming them for the political impasse that has led to worker furloughs and agency shutdowns. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Oct. 10 found that 53 percent of those surveyed blamed Republicans for the fiscal impasse, compared with 31 percent who blame Obama.

House Republicans want to repeal a tax on medical devices for two years and are considering a change in how full-time workers are defined in the health law’s employer mandate, said a Republican lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the party’s offer.

Changing the device tax, even in a later agreement, could provide a way for both sides to declare victory — an essential component of the negotiations. The 2.3 percent excise tax is scheduled to raise about $30 billion over the next decade and has been criticized by Democrats from states with device manufacturers such as Massachusetts and Minnesota.

Republicans could say they made a change to Obamacare, because the medical-device tax was passed as part of the 2010 law. Obama can say he didn’t negotiate on the principles of the healthcare law, because eliminating the tax wouldn’t end the individual mandate or other main components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Obama has insisted that he won’t negotiate conditions to end the 12-day-old shutdown or extend U.S. borrowing authority past Oct. 17, saying that Republicans are trying to extract a ransom for doing their job.

Republicans, who have called for defunding or delaying Obamacare, have reduced their demands over the past few weeks. The House “has demonstrated an incredible amount of flexibility,” Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois said on Bloomberg Television’s “Capitol Gains” airing this weekend. He is the House Republicans’ chief deputy whip.

Boehner may encounter opposition to his plan in Saturday’s’s meeting. A deal built around repealing the medical-device tax would be a “hollow victory” and further divide Republicans, said Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, one of the House Republicans still pushing to dismantle the health-care law.

“It would still fund 98 percent of Obamacare,” Huelskamp said of the latest Republican proposal. “That won’t be sufficient for conservatives and will be seen as capitulating to the left.”

In a meeting Friday at the White House with Senate Republicans, Obama didn’t rule out repealing the medical-device tax, said Sen, Orrin Hatch of Utah, an advocate of the tax’s repeal. “I came away with the feeling this is going to be a difficult experience,” said Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

Senate Republicans are focusing on a plan from Sen. Susan Collins of Maine that would delay the medical-device tax for two years — making up lost revenue through pension-rule changes — and extend government funding for six months and give agencies more flexibility to allocate funds, said two Senate aides with knowledge of the proposal who sought anonymity because the talks are fluid.

The plan would require the Obama administration to verify income levels for enrollment in healthcare benefits, and set a mid-January deadline for longer-term budget talks, they said.
“What he didn’t say was, ‘What a great idea, wish I had thought of that,’” Collins said after declining to provide more details on the president’s reaction because she didn’t know the ground rules of the meeting.

The president told lawmakers he “was open to any improvements” to the healthcare law, though “he’s not open to changing it much,” said Hatch, a critic of the law.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday he’s open to hearing Republican proposals, though he doesn’t like the idea of extending U.S. borrowing authority only to Nov. 22. The Nevada Democrat said he would continue advocating a delay of the next debt-limit fight into 2015.

“Using their theory, we would have another one of these periods of bedlam here in Washington right before the most important purchasing season anytime during the year,” Reid said, referring to the holiday shopping season, without saying he would stop a short-term extension.

Democrats, who control 54 seats in the 100-member Senate, would need the support of at least six Republicans on procedural votes to pass their bill. Collins said she wouldn’t support the Democrats’ plan and that Reid should call off the vote.

Any prospective deal faces questions, including whether Boehner can come to an agreement with Obama and not lose the support of his hardline members. They’ve sought to use the debt ceiling and government shutdown to force curbs on Obamacare and federal spending.

If the U.S. fails to raise the debt limit by Oct. 17, the government will have $30 billion plus incoming revenue to pay its bills. It would start missing scheduled payments, including benefits, salaries and interest, between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Republicans should just concede and allow a vote to end the shutdown without conditions, Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, said in an interview Friday.

“We should cut our losses and get it over with,” he said. “It’s madness to keep the government closed any longer.”

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Collins Plan Brings Hope That Shutdown Is Near End

McConnell to Newsmax: Reid’s Debt-Ceiling Proposal ‘Unacceptable’

© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Collins Plan Brings Hope That Shutdown Is Near End.


With talks having stalled between the White House and House Republicans, a bipartisan group in the Senate is polishing a measure that would reopen the government and prevent a first-ever default on the country’s bills.

The negotiations in the Senate come as the chamber meets in a rare Saturday session to vote on a Democratic measure to lift the government’s borrowing cap through the end of next year. Republicans are poised to reject it amid talks among the group of rank-and-file senators — talks monitored with the full attention of Senate leaders.

The group’s focus is on a proposal by Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and others that would pair a six-month plan to keep the government open with an increase in the government’s borrowing limit through January.

House Republicans, meanwhile, are slated to meet Saturday morning to get an update from their leaders as matters come to a head.

President Barack Obama on Friday privately turned away a House plan to link the reopening of the government — and a companion measure to temporarily increase the government’s borrowing cap — to concessions on the budget.

Publicly, top House Republicans said negotiations were on track. Obama called House Speaker John Boehner midafternoon Friday, and Michael Steel, a spokesman for the leader of House Republicans, said, “They agreed that we should all keep talking.”

Privately, the channel between the White House and the House wasn’t bearing fruit, said aides on both sides. The aides required anonymity because the talks were private and they weren’t authorized to discuss them by name.

“It wouldn’t be wise, as some suggest, to just kick the debt-ceiling can down the road for a couple months, and flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season,” Obama said in his Saturday radio and Internet address.

On Friday, a daily briefing by White House press secretary Jay Carney was delayed until after the stock market closed, and Carney said Obama “appreciates the constructive nature of the conversation and the proposal that House Republicans put forward.” Yet, the spokesman said, “He has some concerns with it.”

A House GOP aide and a White House official cast developments in a more pessimistic light, both requiring anonymity because of the secret nature of the talks. Among the options to be presented to a House GOP conference was a condition-free debt limit increase for just a few weeks and a continued closure of the government in hopes of concessions from Obama.

In the face of disastrous opinion polls, GOP leaders have signaled that they will make sure the debt limit is increased with minimal damage to the markets. But they’re still seeking concessions as a condition for reopening the government.

Obama met Senate Republicans on Friday and heard a pitch from Collins on raising the debt limit until the end of January, reopening the government, and cutting the health care law at its periphery. It would also strengthen income verification for people receiving subsidies through the health care law and set up a broader set of budget talks.

The Collins plan would delay for two years a medical-device tax that helps finance the health care law, and it would subject millions of individuals eligible for subsidies to purchase health insurance under the program to stronger income verification.

At the Capitol, Collins said Obama said the proposal “was constructive, but I don’t want to give the impression that he endorsed it.”

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© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: NEWSmax.com

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