How desperate has the debt-ceiling crisis become? Harry Reid may actually have to do his job:
With House action stalled, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday he’d take the lead and move his bill to raise the national debt limit and avert an economy-shaking default next week.
Calling his plan “the last train out of the station,” Reid said there are only hours to act before Tuesday’s Treasury deadline, so he plans to file a procedural motion Friday to move towards a final vote in the next few days.
“That is why, by the end of the day today, I must take action on the Senate’s compromise legislation,” he said.
Wow! The Senate might actually take up budget legislation. That would make it the first time in over 800 days that they’ve bothered to initiate any such legislation.
Reid’s statement is pure political theater. He could have moved his bill at any time. In fact, it would have been helpful to have moved this bill earlier in the process. If Boehner passes his bill, Congress could create a conference committee to resolve the differences; if not, Boehner could have moved Reid’s bill. That could have taken place at any time in the last two weeks, or two months for that matter.
Why didn’t Reid bother to do so? It may be that Reid doesn’t have the votes, either. I’d expect the bill that Reid moves won’t be his original proposal but something closer to the Boehner-McConnell hybrid that Politico reported earlier.