House Republicans regrouped at their Williamsburg, Va., retreat this week and came up with a new plan: They will vote next week to raise the debt ceiling for three months without immediate spending cuts attached, backing off of their earlier threat to use the Feb. 15 deadline as leverage.
However, the House Republicans are also demanding that the Senate work with them to pass a budget agreement by April 15, and they want to tie legislators' pay to the passage of a deal. "We are going to pursue strategies that will obligate the Senate to finally join the House in confronting the government’s spending problem,” Speaker John Boehner told members in a speech at the retreat, as my colleagues reported. "The principle is simple: No budget, no pay."
It's unclear, however, whether withholding Congress's paychecks is legal, as it may violate the 27th Amendment. There are already some signs of dissent on the Hill, as well: While the White House says it's "encouraged" by the GOP proposal, House progressives rejected it outright. "The Republican offer is a trap. The country isn’t falling for it," the House Progressive Caucus said in a statement attached to an image referencing Star Wars. And Boehner has previously had trouble getting the right flank of his party to play along with his compromises.