Dems to produce Boehner-McConnell plan?; Update: Boehner has 216?

posted at 10:45 am on July 29, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Has an end game begun to take shape on the debt-ceiling debate?  According to Politico, Democrats are shaping a new plan to reach a compromise with Republicans in both chambers, taking elements from two Republican plans to create a Boehner-McConnell approach:

Democrats are aiming for a debt-limit compromise similar to the House Republican plan, with at least one major difference: The second vote on raising the debt ceiling would not depend on Congress passing a broader deficit-reduction package.

The shape of this potential compromise meshes major elements of the proposals offered in recent weeks by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), according to Democratic officials familiar with the negotiations.

Under the possible compromise, Congress could still get a second crack at voting on the debt limit within months. But rather than linking the vote to Congress approving the recommendations of a new 12-member committee — as it would be in Boehner’s bill — Democrats prefer McConnell’s proposal that allows President Barack Obama to lift the debt ceiling unless two-thirds of both chambers override his veto of a disapproval resolution, the officials said.

To force action on a deficit reduction package, the White House would agree to strengthen the mechanism that compels Congress to pass the special committee’s recommendations, the officials said. The officials would not detail proposals for a so-called trigger that acts as an incentive for both parties to bargain in good faith and reach agreement.

Well, if Democrats do produce this plan for an actual vote, it would have the honor of being their first.  Would it work, though?  It combines the elements of both bills to which some Republicans object most, which is giving control of a second debt increase to Obama while making it easier to avoid further cuts.  Boehner has had enough problems keeping his caucus in line without appearing to make further concessions.

However, the key to this would be getting Democratic support in both chambers.  Boehner wouldn’t necessarily need to get everyone in the GOP caucus on board; in fact, he could stop whipping the vote altogether and release some members to vote against it.  McConnell would have to deliver enough Republicans to keep a filibuster from succeeding in the Senate, but that doesn’t seem like a difficult task at this point.

As distasteful as this might be, it still isn’t a bad deal for Republicans.  They get some cuts and no tax increases, a key victory in this debate.  They also force a second debate before the election, with less risk for the GOP of another round of brinksmanship.  And in the end, a unilateral decision by Obama to commit the second debt-ceiling increase will hang it completely on him, especially if Republicans in the House vote against it when it occurs.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see Boehner keep 125-150 Republicans with him on this proposal.

Update: Cantor seems less anxious to get to a vote on Boehner 1.1:

On Friday morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was non-committal about bringing Speaker John Boehner’s debt ceiling package back to the floor — less than 12 hours after GOP leadership pulled the bill fearing it would fail without enough Republican votes.

The Virginia Republican told POLITICO in a brief interview as he walked into the Capitol Friday morning that “we’ll see” if the twice-delayed debt ceiling package would see a vote.

That could just mean that Boehner can’t get the votes, but it could also mean that they see another option, too.

Update II: Looks like Jeff Flake’s late commitment for support may have given Boehner the 216 votes he needs today.  But that was contingent on passing the BBA for a 2nd tranche on the debt ceiling, making Boehner’s bill an even more DOA effort when it gets to the Senate.

 

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As distasteful as this might be, it still isn’t a bad deal for Republicans. They get some cuts and no tax increases, a key victory in this debate.

Ed Morrissey

Ed, stop pushing falsehoods.

There ARE NO CUTS in this bill.

fossten on July 29, 2011 at 1:35 PM

But if you actually want to reduce the deficit, don’t just make any concession, MAKE CONCESSIONS THAT ACTUALLY ACHIEVE SERIOUS SPENDING CUTS. For example, compromise on a few very small tax hikes in exchange for very deep cuts in entitlement spending. Otherwise, it’s clear that no real spending cuts will happen and government spending will remain nearly unchanged.

bayam on July 29, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Name the last time a tax hike was used to reduce the deficit. Name the year.

fossten on July 29, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Name the last time a tax hike was used to reduce the deficit. Name the year.

fossten on July 29, 2011 at 1:36 PM

1993

bayam on July 29, 2011 at 1:40 PM

As distasteful as this might be, it still isn’t a bad deal for Republicans. They get some cuts and no tax increases, a key victory in this debate.

Ed Morrissey

Ed, stop pushing falsehoods.

There ARE NO CUTS in this bill.

fossten on July 29, 2011 at 1:35 PM

If we froze spending at 2011 levels, that would be considered a 9.5 Trillion dollar cut according to the CBO. Insanity.

txmomof6 on July 29, 2011 at 1:45 PM

1993

bayam on July 29, 2011 at 1:40 PM

False. Spending did not decrease.

Fail.

fossten on July 29, 2011 at 2:07 PM

This is 1995/96 all over again.

Reduction in the rate of growth = cut

These people don’t even exist in the same reality as us.

tsj017 on July 29, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Problem is, the Dems dissembling about “cuts” worked in the ’90s, and it’ll probably work now, too.

tsj017 on July 29, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Why did Boehner move to a short term plan with minimal cuts, and no balance ammendment. They had already passed the cut, cap, and balance plan which was the best one overall. I don’t even like the current one they’re introducing because the dems are going to pull one of their magic acts, and screw us over in the end.
.
What they need to do is drop the cut, cap, and balance right on Obama’s desk, and say this is it. Pass it or veto it, it’s your choice. Are the republicans so gutless that all the Senate Dems have to do is threaten to not consider it? Lay the onus on them. They reject it, the republicans win. They pass it, the republicans still with. Boehner needs to grow a pair if he wants to accomplish anything. Hell, Pelosi has bigger ones than he does…

stacman on July 29, 2011 at 2:53 PM

I just turned on Rush and heard the tail end of something
that we should pay attention to – politics as usual -

Apparently, Jim Jordan in Ohio has been holding firm on
not voting for Boehner’s bill – (don’t know why) – he has been told by the republican leadership (don’t know who)
that if he doesn’t vote for the bill that he will be ignored by the republicans when it comes to his reelection.

Amjean on July 29, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Look, the only way to actually cut spending is to reform entitlements and the tax code to get rid of special deductions, and to completely eliminate whole programs and even departments.

It’s a great idea. But only a fool believes it can happen while Democrats hold any power at all. We need the White House, the House, and probably a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (or the practical equivalent if we can scare a Democrat or two into working with us after the next election).

Without that, it’s just not realistic. Elections have consequences – we won last year, but our clocks were cleaned in 2006 and 2008, and it will take at least another cycle to undo the damage. So all you who stayed home or voted third party because McCain was a jerk, remember if you do it again because your favorite didn’t win the nomination, you’re helping Democrats and Obama.

Adjoran on July 29, 2011 at 3:16 PM

I just turned on Rush and heard the tail end of something that we should pay attention to – politics as usual -

Apparently, Jim Jordan in Ohio has been holding firm on
not voting for Boehner’s bill – (don’t know why) – he has been told by the republican leadership (don’t know who)
that if he doesn’t vote for the bill that he will be ignored by the republicans when it comes to his reelection.

Amjean on July 29, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Yes, I saw this yesterday, and it is not true. What is true is Ohio’s GOP is redistricting, and the state leaders aren’t happy with Jordan for his battle with Boehner (both are from Ohio). So they aren’t going out of their way to make his district easier for him. And that is certainly within their rights.

You think you can throw stones at people and drop turds in their punch bowls and expect them to love you?

Adjoran on July 29, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Obama will never be blamed for anything by those that relay the info to the largest amount of people.

Yep, only Republicans can be blamed. I know this because so many Republicans say so. Meanwhile….

Obama Approval Drops to New Low

Quick, we must pass the Boehner bill before Obama’s approval rating goes any lower. If we don’t, Democrats will talk bad about us.

xblade on July 29, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3