HARRISBURG - A day after House Republicans told Gov. Wolf he had 24 hours to recruit enough votes to pass a long-overdue state budget, their deadline came and went.
And nothing happened.
A spokesman for Wolf dismissed the deadline as "ridiculous." Speaker Mike Turzai, who had set the 12:30 p.m. Thursday deadline, declined to say what the fallout might be.
But the silence and inaction - tantamount to business as usual in the five-month budget stalemate - raised questions about lawmakers' optimism this week that a final plan could be approved by the weekend.
"Have not heard anything new," said Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R., Bucks), speaking between sessions Thursday afternoon.
Turzai and House Majority Leader Dave Reed (R., Indiana) on Wednesday challenged Wolf to round up enough votes on a tax plan to support a $30.8 billion spending proposal he and Senate Republicans have touted.
If the governor couldn't find the votes, the leaders said, they would pursue a long-term stopgap budget, potentially with backing from Senate Republicans.
But leaders in that chamber, along with the Wolf administration, said Thursday that they were continuing to finalize details on their so-called framework agreement, which would send an additional $350 million to schools and change the state's liquor and pension systems.
Officials declined again Thursday to provide specifics on potential revenue sources to fund the plan, though lawmakers privately said options included tweaks to the sales tax or a personal income-tax hike.
Wolf's office, Senate leaders, and House Democrats all also distanced themselves from the deadline set by Turzai and Reed, characterizing it as an artificial construct and saying that lining up votes on a tax plan takes time.
"I think the fact that 12:30 came and went shows how ridiculous that was," said Wolf's spokesman, Jeff Sheridan.
"We are continuing to talk to members about revenue options, and we are making progress," said Bill Patton, spokesman for House Democrats.
Senators, who already have passed nearly every piece of the framework agreement, were scheduled to return to the floor Friday for the first time this week. Given the uncertainty in the House, it was not immediately clear what the upper chamber would do.
The House also was scheduled to return to action Friday, though its agenda remained largely ambiguous as well.
Meanwhile, some of the fallout from the impasse has descended on Montgomery County, one of the state's wealthiest, as commissioners on Thursday authorized borrowing as much as $75 million.
The county has exhausted its reserve fund and will be unable to pay bills or make payroll by Jan. 4 without its allotted funding from the state, said Uri Monson, the county's chief financial officer.
Republican Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., during his final public meeting in office, could barely contain his exasperation. He asked: "Am I the only one outraged by this?"