UPDATE #2: Washington Post:
"We've been locked into a fight over here, trying to bring government down to size, trying to do our best to stop Obamacare," Boehner said. "We fought the good fight; we just didn't win."
Boehner also said he would "absolutely" allow a vote on the Senate plan even if a majority of House Republicans don't support the bill.
UPDATE: ThinkProgress on the terms of the deal about to be approved by the United States Senate:
After shutting down the government for three weeks, Republicans appear to have secured just one concession from a Senate-crafted deal to raise the debt ceiling and re-open the federal government: an income verification system for individuals who earn above 400 percent of the federal poverty line and qualify for premium and cost-sharing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
Under the emerging agreement, when subsidies begin to flow on Jan. 1, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will have to certify that the department has established an income verification system as part of the eligibility process. Six months later, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General (OIG) will conduct a more comprehensive audit of the program. It was not immediately clear what changes the Department would have to make before certification.
In other words, not very damn much for the GOP to claim victory with.
In the end, it wasn’t only hard-line GOP conservatives that sank Speaker John Boehner’s plan to reopen the federal government and lift the $16.7 trillion debt limit.
The Ohio Republican, battered from three years of intra-party battles, was caught between at least three different GOP factions as he tried to craft a compromise agreement: Republicans who didn’t want to slash government health care contributions for Capitol Hill aides, members who thought repealing the medical device tax was a giveaway to corporate America and conservatives, who thought Republican leaders were too soft on Obamacare.
Boehner was unable to craft a deal that would satisfy all of the groups, forcing him to shelve his plan and show the world — again — just how hard it is for him to rule the raucous House Republican Conference.
Reportedly, GOP House leadership did not even attempt a whip count to gauge support for their latest "offer" to reopen the government, which included nonstarters like the repeal of the Affordable Care Act's medical device tax, and were dismayed to learn they didn't have the votes to pass it. The medical device tax has been floated a few times in negotiations with Democrats, but in each case it has come off the table as too great a concession. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's negotiations with Republican leader Mitch McConnell are once again on the front burner–a deal that will contain far less in the way of concessions to Republicans. It's an unknown whether House Speaker John Boehner will allow that bill a floor vote, though it would likely pass with mostly Democratic support in the form presently described.
Boehner's failure to pass a bill articulating a clear Republican position, with only hours remaining before the ongoing GOP-engineered fiscal crisis dramatically worsens with the expiration of the nation's borrowing authority, lays bare the enormous political disaster this situation has become for the Republican Party. The tactic of shutting down the government and threatening to default on the nation's credit obligations, over a law passed three years ago and upheld by the Supreme Court, was never considered legitimate by the public. As the shutdown wore on, vulnerable Republicans like Colorado's Rep. Mike Coffman tried to publicly back away, but couldn't ultimately do so while simultaneously maintaining the party line in Washington, DC. And now, each successive poll shows the public turning more lopsidedly against Republicans.
Today, Boehner can't even get the House Republicans who brought us to this moment to pass a bill. They can't agree on what they want in order to end the crisis the voting public believes they manufactured, but we now wait with the government shut for over two weeks, and default around the corner, for them to figure it out. Or agree to what grownups in the Senate cobble together to let them save face. Or go home and cry to their local "Tea Party." Or whatever. We're not sure how you describe what's happening, but it's the antonym of the word "leadership."
What they need to do most, either on their own or with voters' help next November, is get out of the way.