Speaker John Boehner wades through tour groups as he leaves a meeting with House Republican leaders in his office Monday.
Republicans, particularly in the House, have been frustrated by the Senate’s bipartisan “gang of six,” in large part because conservative icon Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has agreed to significant increases in revenues and has long been open to the possibility of some tax increases — a major breach of GOP orthodoxy.
Republicans insisted their plan is a viable vehicle for moving forward, despite the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) this weekend rejected a proposal that was reportedly very similar to Boehner’s current plan.
“We believe this will be a very credible proposal that the Senate will have a very tough time rejecting,” a senior leadership aide said.
Republican aides also sought to downplay the chances of Reid being able to pass his own version out of the Senate. “I don’t think it has much chance of passing the Senate. I don’t think there’s much chance of ships passing in the night,” a leadership aide said.
Boehner’s plan will also set up a debate this fall over a balanced budget amendment, which would take place sometime after Oct. 1 but before the end of the year. According to the aide, delaying the vote until later in the fall will allow “people time to build sufficient support” to pass an amendment through both chambers.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.