HOUSE PREPARES A DEBT LIMIT BILL. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told Republicans on Wednesday that he plans to hold a vote this week on a conservative debt limit bill that has very little future in the Senate. The $1.5 trillion increase would also force committees in the House and Senate to produce proposals for deep spending cuts. The Senate is not likely to be excited about a bill that not only changes the rules for their committees but also includes spending cuts that Democrats will block, but it could be the starting point for a series of votes to avoid default. Power Post has more:

“Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) told reporters Wednesday that he is waiting to see if the House can pass any debt limit bill and floated the idea that Senate leaders could always amend whatever the House sends over.
‘If it can pass the House, I’m sure we could deal with it over here,’ Cornyn said. ‘The Senate doesn’t necessarily have to vote to pass it, we can amend it over here but it will have to start in the House.’
Aides familiar with the plan said they expect the House will vote on the bill on Friday, leaving the Senate a full week to amend the bill and vote to send it back to the House before the Nov. 3, the deadline set by the Treasury Department for raising the debt ceiling.”

LEW WORRIED ABOUT A DEFAULT. Any plan that requires the Senate to amend the House bill and send it back for another round of votes would be risky and could push the fight right up to the Nov. 3 deadline.  That has Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew worried, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Wednesday expressed concern that ‘last-minute brinkmanship’ in Congress would lead to a legislative ‘accident’ in which lawmakers fail to raise the debt ceiling before a Nov. 3 deadline.”

SPENDING FIGHT DRAWS A DEFENSE BILL VETO FROM OBAMA. President Obama is expected Thursday to veto the National Defense Authorization Act in an effort to force Republicans to negotiate on overall government spending. Obama has said all year that he plans to veto any spending legislation that does not work to lift the deep-cutting spending caps that were included in the sequester. USA Today has more:

“The veto of the National Defense Authorization Act is an extraordinary use of one of the president’s most powerful executive tools. While the White House had problems with some of the bill’s provisions, Obama’s main objection is that the bill uses a budget gimmick to increase defense spending without increasing domestic spending first. The president wants Congress to lift the automatic budget caps known as sequestration included in a 2011 budget agreement.
That, congressional Republicans said, is an unprecedented and irresponsible use of the veto power.”