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Saturday night Kabuki bickerfest; Update: Sunday Senate Vote Pushed Back to 1pm; Backroom deal details emerge

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 30, 2011 06:26 PM


The Senate Punch and Judy show…all for show

It’s around 6:15pm Eastern.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just summoned all Senators and took to the floor to lament a GOP filibuster of his bill. Earlier today, the House rejected his plan. He repeated “filibuster” 100 times and even spelled it out — f-i-l-i-b-u-s-t-er.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell asked why Reid wouldn’t allow a cloture vote on the Reid proposal at 6:30pm Eastern.

Reid let out a thin laugh and meekly said: “I object.”

Laughter, much deserved, broke out on the Senate floor.

McConnell noted that he interrupted a meeting with VP Joe Biden to answer Reid’s summons.

Buzz on the rest of Capitol Hill says everyone else but Reid (busy pouting about everyone else’s press conferences) is close to a deal.

Ed Morrissey’s prediction:

My prediction is that we will see a deal structured in two installments of the debt-ceiling hike using the McConnell mechanism, which combined will hit the amount Reid wanted, and with the cuts and assumptions built into the Boehner proposal (with possibly a few changes, which should be checked), with a commitment for a balanced-budget amendment vote in the Senate included. A package like that could get a grudging majority in both chambers, and if it did, Obama would have little choice but to sign it. I suspect we’ll see an announcement before midnight tonight on something along those lines — or on a short-term debt-ceiling hike of no more than $100 billion to give them a little more time to get there.

Remember: Fast-forward past the sound and fury…The debt ceiling is going up. Government is getting bigger. Real spending cuts are getting kicked down the can. Entitlement reform is going nowhere. Reid and McConnell will dilute Boehner’s already diluted plan behind closed doors. And everyone in Washington will rush to take credit for nothing much.

***

Questions…

*Hey, anyone seen POTUS or TOTUS?

*Erik Telford asks: “[The] House rejects Reid plan, while he filibusters his own plan in the Senate, and Republicans are accused of stalling? #wtf”

Update (DP): Reid has delayed the Senate vote. It was scheduled for 1 a.m. — will now supposedly take place 12 hours later.

Update (MM): Here are the backroom deal details via ABC News….

ABC News has learned that Republicans and the White House have struck a tentative deal to raise the debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline. It’s not done yet, but here is the framework of the tentative deal they have worked out, according to a source familiar with the negotiations:

* Debt ceiling increase of up to $2.8 trillion
* Spending cuts of roughly $1 trillion
* Special committee to recommend cuts of $1.8 trillion (or whatever it takes to add up to the total of the debt ceiling increase)
* Committee must make recommendations before Thanksgiving recess
* If Congress does not approve those cuts by late December, automatic across-the-board cuts go into effect, including cuts to Defense and Medicare.

No mention of the balanced budget amendment bone that Boehner tossed into Boehner 3.0.

Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee, a Tea Party stalwart who swept old RINO Bob Bennett out of power, blows the whistle:

“As we delay voting in the Senate we continue to see power consolidated into the hands of just a few legislative leaders. This is troubling.”

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