UPDATE: 1:20 p.m. ET
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) told reporters Tuesday that part of the House Republican calculus in its plan to re-open the government and raise the debt limit was trying to leverage the Thursday default deadline to their advantage in their back-and-forth with the Senate.
“We want to make a deal that they can’t refuse, and we’re running out of time,” Fleming said after a two-hour GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning. “Timing is very important here. They’re going to be more motivated to take this up. Otherwise, they miss the Thursday deadline.”
Fleming’s remarks came before the House GOP’s new plan appeared to dissolve amid conservative objections. He portrayed that initial proposal as the start of a new set of negotiations between the chambers, even with default only two days away.
“This is a first step toward really a whole new negotiation,” Fleming said. “The problem that we have, and this is really more tactics than anything, not ideological, is the more we lard down an offer, the more likely it’s going to be ignored, and we’re going to get something back that’s less.”
Previously, Fleming had downplayed the consequences of default in comments last month to Politico.
“I am,” Fleming said when asked if he’s willing to forgo raising the debt ceiling without a delay to Obamacare. “Technically, it’s not possible to default because there’s always enough revenue to cover the interest. If we defaulted it was because the president chose to default, not because we ran out of money.”