Now that the Senate has officially rejected the House’s Cut, Cap, and Balance debt hike, what is Majority Leader Harry Reid’s, D- Nev. next move? The August 2nd deadline is now just 11 days away. Talking Points Memo‘s Brian Beutler reports:
After Friday’s symbolic vote on Cut, Cap, and Balance, the President and Congressional leaders will have about 48 hours to announce a deal that can pass both Houses. If that doesn’t happen, Reid will file cloture on a fallback plan — Plan Z — he’s negotiated with Mitch McConnell to avert catastrophe. According to top Senate Democratic and Republican aides, that plan’s largely written, sitting on a shelf, and ready to go if the prospects for a bigger deal diminish.
If Senate conservatives do all they can to delay Plan Z, it could take the Senate until Friday to pass it. And if the House adheres to its own rules, which requires legislation to be publicly available for 72 hours before a final vote — the debt limit bill won’t be ready for the President to sign until a week from Monday, one day before Treasury’s drop-dead date August 2.
If this reporting is accurate then we should know by Monday whether or not the “Grand Bargain” is truly dead. If Monday comes and gos without any Obama/Boehner mega-deal then the options quickly come down to the McConnell-Reid plan and whatever debt hike plane the House can come up with in the meantime.
The Examiner’s Phil Klein reports that Boehner seems to have washed his hands of the issue: “The House has done its job, and I hope that the Senate will do theirs,” Boehner told The Examiner.
Unless House conservatives want to get stuck choosing between McConnell-Reid and a government shutdown, they better start drafting a short-term debt hike to send back to the Senate.