Another Manic Debt Plan Monday; Obama Endorses Reid Plan, Boehner Says it’s ‘Full of Gimmicks’; Update: Monday Night Dueling Debt Speeches Added
**Written by Doug Powers
(Scroll down for updates)
Two more debt plans are bouncing around Capitol Hill today — the Boehner and Reid plans (Obama just endorsed the Reid plan). As you read the summaries, note the trick Harry Reid employs to artificially bulk up his “cuts” in order to make them more attractive — kind of like sticking a balled-up tube sock down the front of the budget trousers.
At 2:30 Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will unveil his plan – increase debt ceiling until 2013, cut spending by $2.7 trillion including gimmicks that make the number look bigger than it really is. The biggest of these is factoring in savings from drawing down troops abroad as a spending cut. On Wednesday, there will be a key procedural vote in the U.S. Senate on this plan. It will need 60 votes, which means it must have at least seven Republicans.
If Reid’s plan passes, the final vote would likely come on Saturday (July 30). Democrats would then attempt to pressure the House to take up the Reid bill, the decision will be up to House Speaker John Boehner.
At 2pm Monday, Boehner presents his plan – $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and an eight to ten month debt ceiling increase followed by more cuts and another vote next year – to the House Republican caucus. Assuming he gets a positive reception, he will then introduce the bill, setting up a House vote on Wednesday – the same day the Senate votes on Reid’s plan.
If the Boehner plan passes, Republicans would then attempt to pressure the Senate to bring up the Boehner bill, but the decision will be up to Harry Reid.
Over the weekend, Boehner, Reid and McConnell actually had an agreement, but when Reid took it to Obama, the president nixed the plan because it wouldn’t carry through 2012 and put off any further debt debate until after the election (who’s playing politics?). In the wake of that bit of congressional bipartisanship, today, Obama said this:
And he alluded to the difficulty of cutting a deal, saying “compromise is becoming a dirty word.”
In the White House it is, that’s for sure — but in Washington, DC they often use a different dictionary:
We’ll have more later as things develop — or more likely, totally fall apart again.
Update: Boehner’s reacting to the Reid plan pretty much as expected:
Update II: Obama and Boehner both spoke tonight — and now I’m wishing I’d have watched it live because the Tigers got spanked by the White Sox anyway.
Here’s what Obama and Boehner had to say as the “deadline” approaches (h/t Politico):
**Written by Doug Powers
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