Feb. 7, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Some Still Hoping for a Clean Debt Vote

Bill Clark/Roll Call
At a news conference, Rep. John Larson, flanked by Reps. Xavier Becerra and Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn, talks about the need for a speedy resolution.

If there's a default, however, Democrats on board with Welch's plan predict Republicans will be the ones looking out of touch.

"This is not to indicate that we're not willing to sit down and work on the larger issues of the economy," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who was rounding up bill co-signers Wednesday. "But in the absence of being able to negotiate with Republicans, we have to do something to avoid a default and the catastrophic consequences."

Welch reached out to a handful of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and JPMorgan Chase, to rally support for his bill last spring. It's unclear whether he has gone back to those groups in recent days, but the chamber has come out in favor of Boehner's plan and is even making it a key vote for Members.

Democrats discussed a range of Plan B options during their Caucus meeting Wednesday, including encouraging President Barack Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment and raise the debt ceiling without Congressional approval. But not even the president has been supportive of that idea, telling attendees at a town hall in College Park, Md., last week: "I have talked to my lawyers. They are not persuaded that that is a winning argument."

That did not prevent Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (S.C.) from making a fresh push.

"I am convinced that whatever discussions about the legality of that can continue, but I believe that something like this will bring calm to the American people and will bring needed stability to our financial markets," Clyburn said Wednesday.

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