BOEHNER: OBAMA REJECTED LATEST GOP OFFER ON DEBT

Newsmax on October 12, 2013, reported that House Speaker John Boehner told fellow Republicans that President Barack Obama has rejected his latest fiscal offer, Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho revealed. Excerpts below:

The speaker also told members that talks are continuing with the White House, according to another person in the room who sought anonymity to discuss the private meeting,

House Republican leaders’ plan would extend U.S. borrowing authority to Nov. 22 from Oct. 17 and would make some changes to Obama’s healthcare law, structured in a way that could meet the political needs of each side to claim success.

White House officials opened the door to talks on ending the government shutdown, even as they held firm on raising the debt ceiling without conditions. When asked whether the White House was shifting its position, Carney hedged, saying the administration was “encouraged” by “constructive signs coming from the Republicans.”

The indications of progress bolstered financial markets Friday. U.S. shares rallied for a second day following the biggest jump since January and gold plunged to a three-month low while the yen weakened and oil slid.

House and Senate Republicans are starting to narrow their demands for healthcare law changes…

House Republicans want to repeal a tax on medical devices for two years and are considering a change in how full-time workers are defined in the health law’s employer mandate, said a Republican lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the party’s offer.

Changing the device tax, even in a later agreement, could provide a way for both sides to declare victory — an essential component of the negotiations. The 2.3 percent excise tax is scheduled to raise about $30 billion over the next decade and has been criticized by Democrats from states with device manufacturers such as Massachusetts and Minnesota.

Republicans could say they made a change to Obamacare, because the medical-device tax was passed as part of the 2010 law. Obama can say he didn’t negotiate on the principles of the healthcare law, because eliminating the tax wouldn’t end the individual mandate or other main components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Republicans, who have called for defunding or delaying Obamacare, have reduced their demands over the past few weeks. The House “has demonstrated an incredible amount of flexibility,” Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois said on Bloomberg Television’s “Capitol Gains” airing this weekend. He is the House Republicans’ chief deputy whip.

In a meeting Friday at the White House with Senate Republicans, Obama didn’t rule out repealing the medical-device tax, said Sen, Orrin Hatch of Utah, an advocate of the tax’s repeal. “I came away with the feeling this is going to be a difficult experience,” said Hatch, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

The president told lawmakers he “was open to any improvements” to the healthcare law, though “he’s not open to changing it much,” said Hatch, a critic of the law.

Any prospective deal faces questions, including whether Boehner can come to an agreement with Obama and not lose the support of his hardline members. They’ve sought to use the debt ceiling and government shutdown to force curbs on Obamacare and federal spending.

If the U.S. fails to raise the debt limit by Oct. 17, the government will have $30 billion plus incoming revenue to pay its bills. It would start missing scheduled payments, including benefits, salaries and interest, between Oct. 22 and Oct. 31, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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