The House, and nearly half the Senate, is in revolt against the Senate leadership over the debt ceiling. A deal now seems highly unlikely.
Today’s debt ceiling votes
Barack H. Obama, the man now holding office as President of the United States.
Any debt ceiling bill would have to start in the House of Representatives, or be unconstitutional. Today the House took up a bill identical to one that Senate Democratic Floor Leader Harry W. Reid (D-NV) introduced in the Senate. And it rejected the measure, 173-246.
The man now holding office as President, Barack H. Obama, used his weekly radio address (see video below) to urge “compromise” between the two major parties.
The parties are not that far apart here. We’re in rough agreement on how much spending we need to cut to [cut] our deficit and we agree on a process to tackle tax reform and entitlement reform. There’s plenty of ways out of this mess, but there’s very little time.
That flies in the face of the House vote, and the Republican Senate letter. If the signers of that letter mean what they say, then a filibuster is certain. The first cloture vote may take place no earlier than 1:00 a.m. next morning.
The sticking point
The key sticking point, obviously, is the size of the debt ceiling raise, and how long it would last. Reid wants to raise the debt ceiling by enough money to last through the next election. The House does not want the Democratic Party to get off so easily.
The Bloomberg report (via Newsmax.com) quoted Reid as complaining about trying to talk to his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell (R-KY):
We had no one to negotiate with.
The report neglects to mention the embarrassing and ironic thing that happened next. Namely that Reid’s cellphone went off immediately after he said that, and no one could shut it off. No information is available as to who was on the other end of the line.