Breaking: Senate shoots down CCB, 51-46; Update: DeMint vows to force new CCB vote
posted at 11:10 am on July 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
When Harry Reid scheduled a rare motion-to-table vote for this morning rather than waiting for the cloture vote tomorrow, one had to presume that he had the votes to kill the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. He did — but but it was close. From the Boss Emeritus:
Update: 10:57am Eastern…The Senate just voted down the House Cut Cap and Balance bill, 51-46. Reid danced on its grave, proclaiming it “over, dead, and done.” Back to the Democrat plan:
Speaking of which, remember when Reid insisted on Wednesday that it was just terrible for the House to take the weekend off in the middle of the crisis, just in case the Senate needed them to act on a proposal from the upper chamber? Now, apparently, it’s Miller Time, according to Politico’s Manu Raju:
Senators catching flights home now – weekend votes ain’t gonna happen, we’re told
The House has at least proposed two different plans to deal with the debt crisis. The Senate has yet to come up with any plan. Neither has the White House, despite the hysteria over the August 2nd deadline. So why are Senators streaming out of Washington DC, Senator Reid? And doesn’t that make this earlier whining a little more hypocritical?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confronted White House budget director Jack Lew during a Thursday afternoon meeting about secret talks on a deficit-reduction deal between the president and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
“I’m the Senate majority leader — why don’t I know about this deal?” Reid demanded as soon as the budget director walked into the historic Mansfield Room for a meeting with Senate Democrats, according to a lawmaker who witnessed the exchange.
Maybe if the Senate Majority Leader spent some time leading, he might be important enough to include.
Update: Actually, Reid could have filibustered it had he chosen to do so. I’ve fixed the first paragraph.
Update II: Straight party-line vote. It will be interesting to see how Ben Nelson and Claire McCaskill defend their decision to deny a balanced-budget amendment vote when it comes time to run for re-election next year.
Update III: Senator Jim DeMint pledged in a statement to force another vote on CCB:
“The bipartisan House-passed Cut, Cap, Balance bill remains the only plan on the table, the only one that preserves our AAA rating, and is only four Democrat votes away from a Senate majority to end this debt crisis,” said Senator DeMint. “I will work to force another vote on Cut, Cap & Balance next week because the President and Democrats have not offered the American people any other viable solution.
“It is outrageous that every Senate Democrat voted against even allowing a debate on balancing the budget within 10 years, a plan supported by two-thirds of Americans with wide support across all party lines. Why are Senate Democrats so afraid to debate a balanced budget? Cut, Cap, Balance is the compromise plan that passed the House and can end the wasteful spending that caused this debt crisis. It gives the President the debt limit increase he has asked for in return for immediate spending cuts, enforceable spending caps, and a constitutional amendment to force Washington to stop spending more than it brings in.
“The President and Democrats have been beyond reckless in this debate, refusing to offer any serious solution to our fiscal crisis. The only plan the President has offered would increase our debt by $10 trillion and push our nation into bankruptcy.
“I urge Republican leaders to stop letting the President to drag you back like children into secret meetings where he pretends to do something constructive. The President created this crisis by irresponsible spending and borrowing that has left our economy in shambles, and if he’s unwilling to simply agree to balance the budget in 10 years then he is not a credible negotiating partner.
“No more closed door meetings, no more phony compromises that don’t solve the problem, no more useless commissions. We have a balanced approach supported by a bipartisan House majority that ends our debt crisis if just four Senate Democrats would keep their promise and support a balanced budget.
“We must pass Cut, Cap & Balance to keep our nation from falling off a fiscal cliff.”
The bill has not been entirely killed. The House does not have to re-send the CCB in order for the Senate to reconsider it after it has been tabled. If DeMint can get enough votes, he can force Reid to bring it back to the floor from the table.