As we all know, Boehner’s plan was shelved last night due to enough opposition from enough House Republicans to kill the bill:
Just said by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said to Sean Hannity on Fox in live interview. If Paul is right — that there are as many as 10-14 GOP Senators who may vote against Boehner, which another report says is at this minute being “tweaked” to get conservative votes in the House — the Boehner plan as is known at this second is dead for sure.
So what’s happened since then? Version 1.1.
It’s here. It’s 104 pages. It adds a Balanced Budget Amendment as a prerequisite for passing the next round of debt ceiling increase. As many as 20 Democratic Senators have said in the past that they support a BBA. Was that all talk and posturing to appear moderate, or did they mean it? It would be nice to get a real vote out of them on this question, and the new Boehner plan would do that.
Rep. Jeff Flake has switched from no to yes this morning, because of the change.
Which pretty much guarantees any chance of it getting it through the Senate is nil. Sure, as Bryan Preston notes above some 20 Democrats support a BBA but they supported their version of a BBA, a weak version. Not this version which include hard caps on spending tied to the GDP. I love it, but it won’t pass.
So now Boehner will pass Version 1.1 to save face, it goes to the Senate to die, and Reid is now gonna put his up:
With House action stalled, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday he’d take the lead and move his bill to raise the national debt limit and avert an economy-shaking default next week.
Calling his plan “the last train out of the station,” Reid said there are only hours to act before Tuesday’s Treasury deadline, so he plans to file a procedural motion Friday to move towards a final vote in the next few days.
“That is why, by the end of the day today, I must take action on the Senate’s compromise legislation,” he said.
The man could of produced a bill at any time in the last 800 days but NOW, a few days prior to the deadline, he’s gonna finally produce something.
Now that’s leadership #sarc
Is the reason why he didn’t produce one earlier due to his own lack of votes? If so, his version will be a bit closer to Boehner’s. Closer but weaker.
I know one thing though….If he gets his version through, and Boehner’s his, the BBA won’t be coming out of any conference committee. Pretty certain of that.
And the drama continues.
A little bit more on the Reid version:
the bill actually explicitly seeks to excuse the Senate from passing a budget resolution for the next two years. Reid and Senate Democrats have enjoyed a more-than-800-day vacation from crafting a budget in the first place, but that’s just not enough – never mind that the law requires the Senate to pass a budget every year. So, how does the Reid plan enable the Senate to skirt its responsibility even further? It “deems” a budget for this year and next year.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) explained today on the Senate floor just what this means:
The Reid amendment to increase the debt limit deems two consecutive budget resolutions for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. In other words, it basically takes over the budget process and sets the basic spending number. Does the president think the Senate should go two more years without crafting or passing a budget? We’ve already gone two. The Reid amendment sets spending allocations for most Senate committees at the Congressional Budget Office’s rising baseline. … So it just says we’re going to deem the amount we spend, what C.B.O. has projected our growth and spending to be. And C.B.O. projects growth in spending. They don’t set that as right for America, but they project that’s what will occur under current circumstances. … So without hearings or debate on these allocations, this provision would provide a further excuse for avoiding a budget and increase the likelihood … the Congressional Budget Act will be violated for the third straight year. This is an abrogation of the responsibilities of the Senate and of the Budget Committee of the United States Senate. We were not elected to the Senate and chosen to serve on the Committee on the Budget … to see most of the budget levels automatically raised based on a set of spending growth projections by some apparachix in the C.B.O.
Sessions is right. It is an abrogation of responsibility — and one that’s been little remarked upon in discussion of Reid’s amendment.
Next, Reid’s bill boasts the largest debt increase in U.S. history — $2.7 trillion. Up to now, the most sizable increase has been $1.9 trillion (also an Obama increase). Debt ceiling increases might be routine — but hikes of this magnitude are not. Far better — and, frankly, more in line with precedent — to split that increase into two “smaller” amounts (even split in half, the increase is monstrous!).
Finally, as has been repeatedly pointed out, the savings in Reid’s bill aren’t exactly real. Reid touts dollar-for-dollar savings, but that’s a ruse. The bill actually delivers just $1 trillion in cuts in exchange for that unprecedented $2.7 trillion increase. The Global War on Terror savings are a gimmick. The administration has never requested current levels of funding for the war for the next ten years (i.e. the administration has never planned to spend $160 billion each year on the war for the next 10 years). Not funding what the administration was never going to fund doesn’t qualify as a cut.
Standing O’ for Boehner:
Speaker of the House John Boehner just quietly ventured over to the Senate side and dropped in on a closed lunch of Senate Republicans.
The lunch – pizza, again – was in the Strom Thurmond room.
I am told Boehner got a standing ovation from his Senate Republican colleagues.
That feel-good moment comes before a bigger test: Will Senate Republicans remain united in opposition to Harry Reid’s debt ceiling bill. If they do, we are left at a standstill – the House passing a bill that has no chance in the Senate; and Senate Democrats pushing a bill that can’t pass in the Senate either (and, maybe, the House, too).
The obvious end game here is for the two sides to actually compromise on a bi-partisan plan.
Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts told a radio station Friday that he may vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to raise the debt ceiling.
“Sen. Brown tells WBUR parties need to work across the aisle to resolve debt-ceiling impasse; he’d vote for Reid’s plan,” the Boston public radio station posted on its Twitter account.
The moderate Republican, who is up for re-election next year, is in the minority of his party, which overwhelmingly opposes the measure. But increasingly, senators from both parties are saying that there is ample room for compromise between Reid’s measure and the one proposed by House Speaker John Boehner.
“Senator Brown will support a bill that contains spending cuts and doesn’t increase taxes and allows us to avoid default,” said Marcie Kinzel, spokeswoman for Brown. “That could be a Republican bill, or a Democrat bill – it doesn’t matter.”
Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe said she couldn’t vote to proceed to the Reid plan, but she said “that’s not meant to say there aren’t issues between the Reid and Boehner plan that couldn’t be worked out.”
The House of Representatives on Friday approved a plan for a short-term increase in the debt ceiling and for cuts in spending, ending a week of intense fighting among Republicans and shifting the endgame of the debate to the Senate.
The vote was 218-to-210, leaving the speaker of the House, John A. Boehner, with 22 Republicans who were unwilling to support his bill.
Urging passage, an emotional Mr. Boehner angrily accused President Obama and his Democratic allies of negotiating in bad faith for weeks and called the bill the only way to “end this crisis now.”
“All they would do was criticize what I put out there,” Mr. Boehner said, his voice rising during a rare appearance on the floor. “I stuck my neck out a mile to get an agreement with the president of the United States. I stuck my neck out a mile. I put revenues on the table.”
He added, “A lot of people in this town can never say yes.”
Republicans who voted no:
Amash, Bachmann, Broun, Chaffetz, Cravaack, DesJarlais, Duncan (SC), Gowdy, Graves (GA), Huelskamp, Johnson (Ill), Jordan, King (IA), Latham, Mack (FL), McClintock, Mulvaney, Paul, Scott (SC), Southerland, Walsh, Wilson (SC).
Here is Boehner’s speech on the floor where he unloads on Obama:
“I can tell you that I have worked with the President and the administration since the beginning of this year to avoid being in this spot. I have offered ideas. I’ve negotiated. Not one time, not one time did the administration ever put any plan on the table. All they would do was criticize what I put out there. I stuck my neck out a mile to try to get an agreement with the President of the United States. I stuck my neck out a mile and I put revenues on the table in order to try to come to an agreement to avert us being where we are. But a lot of people in this town can never say yes. A lot of people can never say yes. This House has acted and it is time for the administration and time for our colleagues across the aisle put something on the table!
…”Put something on the table! Tell us where you are!”
And look at this:
Reid is floating more cuts up front, a promise on a VOTE for a BBA and some stronger trigger to get Senate GOP xovers.