Senate GOP rallies around rival plan on debt ceiling, shutdown

The Hill –

Senate Republicans are unhappy with a House GOP plan to raise the debt ceiling for six weeks without funding the federal government. They are coalescing around their own proposal to pair a short-term debt-ceiling increase with a year-long stopgap to fund the government.

Under their plan, the government would be funded for a year at the $967 billion level set by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

 

The package would also include a repeal of ObamaCare’s medical-device tax and language to require income verification of people who apply for healthcare subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, said GOP sources familiar with the talks.

Some Senate Republicans are willing to extend the debt limit for as long as six months, while others say the extension should only last for a few months.

Republican lawmakers say Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who did not support the push to shut down the government in order to win concessions on ObamaCare, is at the center of the talks.

“We’re working on our own plan. I think it will be better,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), when asked about the short-term House Republican debt-ceiling offer.

GOP senators worry the damage the shutdown has inflicted on the GOP brand could imperil their chances of winning the Senate majority in 2014.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said repealing the medical device tax is “one of the fundamentals” of the Senate GOP proposal.
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