It would appear that Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) has been a quick study of the art of arm twisting as he slowly picks up momentum for his debt limit and deficit reduction plan.
Less than 24 hours after it appeared Boehner would not be able to rally enough GOP support for his bill thanks to conservative opposition, the Speaker suddenly seemed to have picked up momentum Wednesday morning.
“From what I saw in there, I think there’s a pretty good change of heart,” Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) said following an early morning meeting of the GOP. Although West had already indicated he would support the bill, he said the Congressional Budget Office’s cost estimate of the bill and lobbying by leaders seemed to have help turn the page on the measure.
Asked if he thought the bill would be passed, West said, “I believe it [will]. I’d almost put my retirement check on it.”
One conservative lawmaker said Boehner and his lieutenants have been pushing their Conference hard on the issue. “They’re working it hard. They’re working it earnestly. They’re working it aggressively,” the lawmaker said.
The pressure seems to have had an effect — for instance Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), who Tuesday was leaning toward opposing the bill, is now on the fence.
Boehner is planning a vote on the bill Thursday.
Since becoming Speaker, Boehner has emphasized a leadership style which allows the House to work its will rather than a more traditional top down approach. But with the nation bearing down on an Aug. 2 deadline to avert a default and raise the debt ceiling, Boehner has changed tactics in order to secure passage of his measure to raise the debt limit in two stages while cutting the deficit at the same time.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.