Wednesday, April 23, 2014


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Washington Beat: GOP Gears Up For Debt Ceiling Fight

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As the clock ticks toward a possible government shutdown, House Republicans huddled behind closed doors Thursday, trying to shifts the GOP's attention to the fight over the debt ceiling. NY1's Michael Scotto filed the following report.

Republicans are keeping tight-lipped about how they'll respond to a government spending plan the Senate is likely to approve over the next couple of days.

"We have to wait and see what the Senate does," said Rep. Chris Gibson.

It's expected the Senate will strip the bill of language de-funding the president's health care law and then send it back to the House.

But what happens next could lead to a government shutdown, as House Speaker John Boehner indicates that Republicans won't accept a spending plan that doesn't meet their demands.

"We have no interest in seeing a government shutdown, but we've got to address the spending problems that we have in this town," Boehner said.

Some Republicans are proposing a short one-week spending bill that would allow negotiations to continue and give the GOP the opportunity to slip in language that would weaken Obamacare.

Republicans are also looking toward the debt ceiling fight, which comes to a head in mid-October.

The GOP says it will raise it, but only if the President agrees to a goodie bag of their demands, including tax reform, the elimination of regulations and a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act.

The President has said he won't negotiate over the debt limit, but Republicans say he is going to have to come to the table.

"I understand he's standing strong on his word, however I think that the American people understand that this is something that needs to be negotiated. You know, we can have a clean debt ceiling vote, and it will go down instantaneously," said Rep. Renee Ellmers.

But it's unclear what Republicans will ultimately get.

Some members of the party acknowledge that Senator Ted Cruz has diminished their bargaining power.

"Because of this circus and sideshow that's been put on, our position, our leverage has been weakened," said Rep. Michael Grimm.

The uncertainty leaves the country on the brink of a shutdown and a possible default. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP