Monday, July 25, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Two debt ceiling plans expected today

ABC reports that two competing plans for dealing with the debt ceiling crisis will be unveiled this afternoon.


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.

Republicans apparently have been taken by surprise by Reid’s shift in strategy and can’t decide exactly how to respond.  On one side, he seems to be offering them everything they have been asking for—spending cuts to match the debt increase with no new taxes.  On the other hand, a trillion of those dollars comes from the expected wind down of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan -- a source of savings Republicans have recently opposed but, oops, voted for in the House GOP budget.


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.

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