WASHINGTON — House GOP leaders unveiled their own plan Tuesday to counter an emerging Senate deal to reopen the government and forestall an economy-rattling default on U.S. obligations.
Top Republicans unveiled a plan that would suspend a new tax on medical devices for two years and take away the federal government's contributions to lawmakers' health care and top administration officials in addition to funding the government through Jan. 15 and giving Treasury the ability to borrow normally through Feb. 7.
The move came as a partial shutdown entered its third week and less than two days before the Treasury Department says it will be unable to borrow and will rely on a this cash cushion to pay the country's bills.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Republicans plan to pass the measure later Tuesday. It could prove tricky because Democrats probably won't support it. The House GOP plan wouldn't win nearly as many concessions from President Barack Obama as Republicans had sought, but it would set up another battle with the White House early next year.
Like the House GOP bill, the emerging Senate measure — though not finalized — would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and permit the Treasury to borrow normally until early to mid-February.
Sen. Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat who was part of the bipartisan group known as the Gang of 12 which labored over the weekend to end the stalemate, said Tuesday that he was "pretty confident" the Senate leadership and the White House would announce an agreement some time later in the day.
Speaking of the House, Pryor told CNN that "some Republicans are, quite honestly, they're acting childish about this. They almost want a shutdown. They almost want to see us break the debt ceiling."