House Passes Boehner's Doomed Debt Bill
There has been quite a bit of contrived suspense over a bill that is sure to die a swift death in the Senate. But now we have that bit of theater out of the way, as the House passed the bill on a 218-210 vote.
Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, enticed the Tea Partiers within his caucus by adding a balanced budget amendment to the mix. That's going nowhere fast. So now the Democratic leadership in the senate will pass their own bill, and we'll move on to reconciliation, with the hope -- perhaps unrealistic -- that they can come up with a unified bill that can pass both chambers.
TPM's Brian Beutler reports:
At this point [Boehner's] bill's only substantive purpose may be to serve as a vehicle for Senate Democrats and Republicans to pass a viable, bipartisan debt limit bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is eyeing two separate avenues to passing such a bill -- one that would result in Senate passage of a debt limit bill Monday morning, another that would wrap up the Senate's work Tuesday, each leaving House Democratic and Republican leaders precious little time to cobble together a coalition to pass it.
Reid has his eyes on several Republicans who might co-operate. The huge question looming over the Capitol at this point is whether Boehner has enough sway with his caucus to put together a substantial number of votes -- enough to pass something before the country's borrowing authority expires late Tuesday evening.