Open thread: Senate to vote on debt bill at 1 p.m., or maybe not; Update: Reid’s bill filibustered, 50/49; Update: Deal all but done? Update: Reid signs off on debt ceiling agreement

posted at 12:09 pm on July 31, 2011 by Allahpundit

They’re supposed to vote at 1 p.m., but according to Plouffe and another “Democrat familiar with the situation,” there’s still no bill. What’s the hold up? In all likelihood, they’re haggling over the “triggers” that’ll happen if the new Super Commission can’t agree on, or Congress won’t accept, new deficit reduction proposals later this year. Jen Rubin’s hearing the following from a Republican source on the Hill:

The second tranche works like this: If a new congressional commission introduces a plan totaling at least $1.5 trillion in cuts by Thanksgiving and it’s passed by Christmas there are no across-the-board cuts. Or, if a balanced budget amendment is passed and sent to the states, then across-the-board cuts are avoided. However, if there is no commission package passed AND the BBA is not passed and sent to the states, then across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion including Medicare and defense (the details of which aren’t final) go into effect. If the across-the board-cuts go into effect, the debt ceiling is only raised $1.2 trillion (likely insufficient to keep the government operating for long), meaning “we could do this all over again, depending on economic growth.” In other words, if we went to sequestration the total debt ceiling increase would be $2.1 trillion in two doses.

So there’s the BBA concession: Democrats can avoid new cuts in the second stage entirely if they pass the amendment. As for the automatic Medicare/Pentagon reductions, that’s obviously designed to make both sides in Congress think twice before rejecting the Super Commission’s recommendations. The precise formula for that is still being negotiated too. According to Jake Tapper, the White House wants fully 50 percent of the automatic cuts to affect the Pentagon and 50 percent to be spread across various other discretionary programs. GOP hawks won’t go for that, especially since the only alternative might be approving a Commission package that includes new revenues.

As I write this, the Senate has just begun its session and Reid is insisting that they’re “cautiously optimistic” about a deal but not there yet. Here’s your thread for tracking today’s drama. Exit question: How many Republican and Democratic votes will this bargain get in the House? Progressives are reportedly already murmuring about balking because of the lack of revenue in the deal, which means Boehner will need a majority of his previous Republican majority on yesterday’s vote to get this through. (Here’s one vote forecast.) I wonder if they’ll do it on the first try or, a la TARP, if it’ll take a market panic and subsequent re-vote to get it done. Stand by for updates.

Update: The post-deal spin starts before the deal is even struck:

“I don’t think we’ve been hurt at all,” McConnell said on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation’.

“The American people wanted us to do something about out-of-control spending and … the debt ceiling is going to produce what many people would believe is a complete change in the trajectory of the federal government beginning to get spending under control,” said McConnell, who is likely to be largely responsible for any package that wins muster with Congress.

Update: John Bolton sounds the alarm for hawks:

Every indication is that the debt-ceiling negotiations are leaving the defense budget in grave jeopardy. By exposing critical defense programs to disproportionate cuts as part of the “trigger mechanism,” there is a clear risk that key defense programs will be hollowed out.

While the trigger mechanism comes into play only if the Congressional negotiators fail to reach agreement on the second phase of spending cuts, it verges on catastrophe to take such a national security risk.

Defense has already taken hugely disproportionate cuts under President Obama, and there is simply no basis for expanding those cuts further. Republican negotiators must hold the line, since the Obama Administration plainly will not.

Update: Senate Republicans will huddle at 1:45.

Update: Turns out we did have a 1 p.m. vote after all. Now that there’s a deal in the works, Reid evidently decided that it wouldn’t panic markets if he introduced his current bill and let the GOP filibuster. Which they did: The vote was 50/49 (Reid voted no in order to preserve his right to reintroduce it, so they actually had 51 votes in favor.) Why he bothered forcing a vote, I simply don’t know. I guess it lets him use the “obstructionist Republicans” talking point for a few more hours, but that’ll evaporate as soon as there’s a deal. Oh well.

Stand by for the roll. At least two Dems voted no on this thing, intriguingly.

Update: Here we go. Via Fox reporter Chad Pergram, three Democrats voted no: Manchin, Ben Nelson, and of course Reid himself. So how’d they get to 50? Er, Scott Brown voted yes.

Update: Lefty Greg Sargent wonders how Republicans managed to use the threat of hitting the debt ceiling as leverage over Democrats when even most Republicans concede that it’s a scenario to be avoided at all costs.

Update: Ace is thinking about “trigger” gamesmanship down the line:

Republicans let the automatic cuts happen, but then immediately propose reinstating most of the money to Defense.

This winds up causing automatic cuts to domestic discretionary, but no big cuts to Defense; most Democrats would probably have to vote for this.

But it has a bad effect: We’d have approved $2.1 trillion in debt ceiling increase while only (guestimating) cutting, say, $1.6 – $1.7 trillion in cuts.

I.e. the GOP could try a defense version of “doctor fix.” Assuming Medicare is also part of the trigger, though, Democrats would respond by demanding that that money be reinstated too — and Republicans would have to vote for it to block the left’s “Paul Ryan and his conservative friends want to kill your grandma” election messaging.

Update: Come to think of it, if Medicare’s part of the trigger, then Democrats will follow Ace’s scheme to reinstate that money later even if the GOP doesn’t try the same move for defense. (Again, they do this all the time in “doctor fix.”) And even if the GOP does try the same move, why would Democrats care? They want to protect entitlements much more passionately than they want to see the Pentagon’s budget slashed, so they’d agree to reinstate the Pentagon’s money as the price of reinstating Medicare. The fundamental problem here, as always, is that Democrats don’t care about cutting spending. If there’s nothing built into this deal that prevents reinstating the money that would be cut when the trigger kicks in — and I’m not sure how there could be procedurally — then the trigger isn’t worth much.

Update: Dick Durbin identifies another reason why Democrats aren’t crazy about this deal, especially the cuts up front.

Update: Even some tea partiers are ready for compromise.

Update: Tapper says they’ve almost got it worked out:

The agreement looks like this: if the super-committee tasked with entitlement and tax reform fails to come up with $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction that passes Congress, the “neutron bomb” goes off, — as one Democrat put it — spending cuts that will hit the Pentagon budget most deeply, as well as Medicare providers (not beneficiaries) and other programs.

If the super-committee comes up with some deficit reduction but not $1.5 trillion, the triggers would make up the difference…

And the debt ceiling will be raised by $2.4 trillion in two tranches: $900 billion immediately, and the debt ceiling will be raised by an additional $1.5 trillion next year – either through passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment, which is unlikely, or with Congress voting its disapproval.

That’s the same as what Jen Rubin reported this morning. After the Super Commission announces its plan for deficit reduction, Congress has three options: (1) enact that plan, (2) pass a BBA and avoid any further immediate cuts entirely, or (3) do nothing and let across-the-board cuts go into effect, which would hit both Medicare and the Pentagon. That’s the last piece of this to be negotiated — how much of those cuts would be to defense specifically as opposed to being truly across-the-board? The harder the military would be hit, the more pressure the GOP will be under to avoid those cuts by passing the Super Committee plan, which could of course include taxes. And that’s not the only tax pressure: “Democrats say –- if tax reform doesn’t happen through the super-committee, President Obama will veto any extension of Bush tax cuts when they come up at the end of 2012, further creating an incentive for the super-committee to act.”

It sounds like the House will vote on this tomorrow before the Senate will. That struck me as backwards at first blush, since having the Senate rubber-stamp it first will put pressure on the House to follow suit. But since the House will have a harder time with this than the Senate, the thinking presumably is that the House needs to be free to tweak the bill to get the votes if need be.

Update: How many Democratic votes will this thing get in the House? Don’t answer until you’ve read this. Boehner may need his caucus to carry the load yet again. One key liberal objection, as Weigel notes, is that tax hikes aren’t one of the triggers that would kick in if Congress rejects the Super Committee. The GOP simply won’t agree to that, which is why Democrats are demanding heavy Pentagon cuts as a lesser substitute.

Update: Byron York on Obama’s nuclear weapon:

As the hours to Tuesday’s deadline tick away, President Obama will have increasing leverage in his negotiations with Republicans. The president has a nuclear weapon which he has not used thus far in the crisis but will certainly use if the issue remains unresolved in the next 24 hours. That weapon is an address to the nation in which a sober-faced Obama reluctantly lays out what government spending will continue past the debt deadline and what spending will not continue. Many insiders, both Republican and Democrat, believe Obama has been badly overexposed at times in the debt battle, but that would be a speech everyone watches. The president would be the man dealing with disaster (even if it is one he helped create), while he dispatches aides and surrogates to blame it all on GOP radicalism.

True, one last eleventh-hour bid to panic the public might shake loose the last few votes they need to pass this thing. But see the previous update. I’m not so sure the GOP is his big problem this time.

Update (Tina Korbe): Fox News is now reporting that Harry Reid has signed off on the latest iteration of the debt ceiling increase agreement, pending caucus approval.

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I’m wearing my “True Conservative” body armor today, so lets get it started.

Bishop on July 31, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Well, I gotta believe Republicans will lose 100 votes in the House, so I assume Pelosi will get about that many to get passage.

I will need a week or so to digest this, but I have indigestion already.

neoavatara on July 31, 2011 at 12:12 PM

How many Republican and Democratic votes will this bargain get in the House?

I’ll say 70 R’s and 150 D’s, but it’s just a guess. If Barry approves, no way the democrats allow it to go down in flames.

SouthernGent on July 31, 2011 at 12:16 PM

They are becoming more and more like a clutch of frustrated virgins1

OldEnglish on July 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Sen. Jeff Sessions is one of the adults in the room.
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/273219/washingtons-systemic-over-spending-addiction-weve-got-get-it-kathryn-jean-lopez

He understands the rationale behind the TEA party movement and smacks down those who denigrate it.

onlineanalyst on July 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

In all likelihood, they’re haggling over the “triggers” that’ll happen if the new Super Commission can’t agree on, or Congress won’t accept, new deficit reduction proposals later this year.

Why don’t they reverse this issue by adding Ryan’s plan to the bill with the requirement that the Super Commission determine what changes to make to it that Congress must vote on?

Dusty on July 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

I think a deal while it will suck does have one merit. If it passes the GOP can show the country that cutting the budget wont throw grandma out in the street and that the poor wont gohungry.

It is a victory to put the breaks on President Spendalot and the democratic money grubbers. I feel better about the direction of this country in 2011 than I did in 2009.

The GOP can show the American people that the hate rhetoric out of the left is false and that furture cuts can be made in the future. Give America a taste of success and it will abandon the “False” hope and change it swallowed in the first place.

William Amos on July 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Coalition: 160-180 Rs, 40-60 Ds.

They better do better than the minimum here 160 R + 40 D does not equal 216 (0e 218)
Math is hard

dentalque on July 31, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I really like the feature of allowing the passage of a BBA to forestall across the board cuts on areas that are typically used to politicize federal expenditures. It actually makes the passage of a BBA the more politically viable option. The question remains, however, which BBA will be triggered? Will it be the version that was joined with CCB, the version that was joined to Boehner 2.0, or will it be some weaker third option? Details details details.

Weight of Glory on July 31, 2011 at 12:20 PM

He understands the rationale behind the TEA party movement and smacks down those who denigrate it.

onlineanalyst on July 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM

I’ll go with Thad McCotter on this one, thanks. It’s a two-way street.

KingGold on July 31, 2011 at 12:21 PM

2.1 trillion for bo to blow? I guess happy birthday is in order.

tim c on July 31, 2011 at 12:22 PM

That is or 218
Spelling is hard, too!

dentalque on July 31, 2011 at 12:22 PM

The poison pills are the cuts to Medicare and defense. Of course, this plan is designed to make conservative fiscal sanity the boogeyman once again.

NRO links John Bolton’s objection to the defense cuts, already severely instituted by the O administration. ObaMao has weakened our national security enough already. National defense is one of the few delegated powers that the federal government can claim. Why would any right-thinking legislator put that elements on the table?

onlineanalyst on July 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM

So there’s the BBA concession: Democrats can avoid new cuts in the second stage entirely if they pass the amendment.

If I were the Dems I would take this in a heartbeat. They can send BBA’s to the states all day long and none of them will ever get ratified. They get something for nothing.

Mark1971 on July 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Great. The military will be gutted and Medicare will be “cut” by increasing funding by only 15% instead of 18%.

Are Republicans stupid, gullible or both?

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM

and 50 percent to be spread across various other discretionary programs.

That is, no programs that the Dems cherish, like Medicare. I’ll bet that’s what they want. That’s also a poison pill that kills the deal.

KingGold on July 31, 2011 at 12:24 PM

2.1 trillion for bo to blow? I guess happy birthday is in order.

tim c on July 31, 2011 at 12:22 PM

BO and blow in the same sentence? That works on so many levels.

onlineanalyst on July 31, 2011 at 12:26 PM

John Bolton sounds the alarm for hawks:

Get your ass back in line! You wanted it, you got it! I really don’t want to hear any whining from any of ya’s!

SouthernGent on July 31, 2011 at 12:27 PM

I’ll say 70 R’s and 150 D’s, but it’s just a guess. If Barry approves, no way the democrats allow it to go down in flames.

SouthernGent on July 31, 2011 at 12:16 PM

I meant 170 R’s and 150 D’s…d’oh.

SouthernGent on July 31, 2011 at 12:27 PM

They’re all lying bastards.
Had the GOP put as much effort into turning 3..yes 3 stinking Senators on CCB as they have in this ridiculous circus act with Obama, Reid and the damn Dems, then we could have been out of this mess and on to serious reform.

Read this from Jim Jordon…who BTW is being viciously targeted by JOHN BOEHNER to have his district SHREDDED!!

http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=254559

katy on July 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Fox now reporting that Senators will meet behind closed doors (surprise!) at 1:45pm, so it doesn’t sound like a vote is close.

rcpjr on July 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Even if BBA passes, does anyone think 38 states will ratify?
Off the top of my head I can list 13+ that would never do so.
Ca, or, wa, hi, de, vt, me, ct, ma, ri, ny, nj, de, md, il

Never gonna happen folks.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM

However, if there is no commission package passed AND the BBA is not passed and sent to the states, then across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion including Medicare and defense (the details of which aren’t final) go into effect.

Alright who you trying to kid? We all know what this always winds up being, mothballing perfectly good military hardware and entitlements go unchecked. Same old song and dance.

Archimedes on July 31, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Are Republicans stupid, gullible or both?

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Sadly, with a few notable exceptions they’re political hacks. Who have joined one of the most elite cliques in the world. They don’t want to give that up for anything. So it will be up to us voters to take it away form them. Hope everyone has a good and long memory.

Tommy_G on July 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM

The problem about last-minute, behind-closed-door deals is, of course, that the devil is in the details, a no one at this point has enough information to praise or criticize. They have us exactly where they always want us, ignorant or uninformed.

I guess, once again, they’ll have to pass it so we can find out what’s in it. Boehner should’ve passed the CCB months ago and we wouldn’t be in this mess.

TXUS on July 31, 2011 at 12:33 PM

I’m wearing my “True Conservative” body armor today, so lets get it started.

Bishop on July 31, 2011 at 12:11 PM

LMAO!

With all of the squishes around here lately….I sleep in mine!

Locked and loaded…..Let’s Rock.

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 12:33 PM

I got your tranche right here…

eg:

Why do I suspect this commission will have “revenue” powers as well?

Just because…

golfmann on July 31, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Great. The military will be gutted and Medicare will be “cut” by increasing funding by only 15% instead of 18%.

Are Republicans stupid, gullible or both?

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Thing is, neither the GOP nor the Dems are going to get everything they want. There’s gotta be give and take from both sides to achieve any decent outcome. Neither side will be totally happy…but whatever comes out of this would be better than simply raising the debt ceiling with no cuts in spending, or gawd forbid…defaulting.

It’s not that the GOP is backing off or giving in to easily…it’s just the way DC works.

JetBoy on July 31, 2011 at 12:34 PM

You have to pass it to see what’s in it….

sandee on July 31, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Oops, sorry, commented before finishing the peice. Bolton already nailed!

Archimedes on July 31, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Why would they cut the Pentagon 50%? That’s just crazy, one of the only things they are constitutionally mandated to do and that’s where the lion share of cuts are going to be? Why don’t they take an across board cut on everything?

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Why would they cut the Pentagon 50%? That’s just crazy, one of the only things they are constitutionally mandated to do and that’s where the lion share of cuts are going to be? Why don’t they take an across board cut on everything?

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2011 at 12:36 PM

It’s a political ploy for leverage. They can’t help themselves. Still playing political games after wasting months/years doing nothing but spending without any accountability.

forest on July 31, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Has anyone seen that clip of Pelosi saying Boehner has gone to the dark side? She gets booed and Fox cuts it off when body language she might be doubling down to hilarity. I hope they didn’t cut out the funny part.

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I could see cutting the State Department by 50%…

sandee on July 31, 2011 at 12:39 PM

forest on July 31, 2011 at 12:39 PM

I can’t stand these people.

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2011 at 12:41 PM

I guess, once again, they’ll have to pass it so we can find out what’s in it.

TXUS on July 31, 2011 at 12:33 PM

And the truly disgusting part, is that this time…Our OWN PARTY is pulling this crap on us.

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 12:41 PM

I think a deal while it will suck does have one merit. If it passes the GOP can show the country that cutting the budget wont throw grandma out in the street and that the poor wont gohungry.

Yes, but the problem is that this country is jumping from one extreme to another. First, we had a decade of happy go lucking tax cuts and deficit spending in the middle of a period of general, albeit not strong, economic expansion. According to Cheney at the time, “deficits don’t matter”. Personally, I was astounded to watch the deficit start its climb and the debt binge unfold, and thought both parties acted irresponsibly.

Now we’re jumping to the other extreme, clamoring for tax cuts during a severe balance sheet recession. Cuts to government spending hurt the economy in the short-term as modeled by numerous Wall Street economists. Now we’re looking at a scenario unfolding that occurred in Japan- in our attempts to cut spending, so much harm is done to the economy and tax base that the deficit actually increases.

It’s important to see these cuts pass and even deeper cuts to entitlement reform in the future. But people are jumping from one extreme to another, form one over-simplification to another. There’s no clear or simple path out of this mess, as summarized by the generally nonpartisan FT:

http://blogs.ft.com/gavyndavies/2011/07/31/us-economic-policy-is-not-yet-triple-a/#axzz1ThXqmJNa

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:41 PM

I think a deal while it will suck does have one merit. If it passes the GOP can show the country that cutting the budget wont throw grandma out in the street and that the poor wont gohungry

.

Yes, but the problem is that this country is jumping from one extreme to another. First, we had a decade of happy go lucky tax cuts and deficit spending in the middle of a period of general, albeit not strong, economic expansion. According to Cheney at the time, “deficits don’t matter”. Personally, I was astounded to watch the deficit start its climb and the debt binge unfold, and thought both parties acted irresponsibly.

Now we’re jumping to the other extreme, clamoring for tax cuts during a severe balance sheet recession. Cuts to government spending hurt the economy in the short-term as modeled by numerous Wall Street economists. Now we’re looking at a scenario unfolding that occurred in Japan- in our attempts to cut spending, so much harm is done to the economy and tax base that the deficit actually increases.

It’s important to see these cuts pass and even deeper cuts to entitlement reform in the future. But people are jumping from one extreme to another, form one over-simplification to another. There’s no clear or simple path out of this mess, as summarized by the generally nonpartisan FT:

http://blogs.ft.com/gavyndavies/2011/07/31/us-economic-policy-is-not-yet-triple-a/#axzz1ThXqmJNa

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:44 PM

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:41 PM

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Nice spamming – got any erection pills for sale?

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Now we’re looking at a scenario unfolding that occurred in Japan- in our attempts to cut spending, so much harm is done to the economy and tax base that the deficit actually increases.

Incontrovertible proof of the folly of government intervention in the economy.

All it does is make it worse. For the children.

BobMbx on July 31, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Jetboy,

Yes not everyone can win in a compromise. But why does it have to be 50% miltary cuts? Military is 15% of spending. This is a HUGE giveaway to the Dems.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:46 PM

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Nice spamming – got any erection pills for sale?

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Sorry about that. No but you’ll need some after you see what Boehner pushes through congress.

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Lol Bayam. So in your world if govt spending helps the economy why is unemployment 10% after Obama increased spending by 50%?

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:49 PM

GOP hawks won’t go for that, especially since the only alternative might be approving a Commission package that includes new revenues.

GOP hawks (read corporatist, establishment shills) are a part of the problem.

AUH2O on July 31, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Sorry about that. No but you’ll need some after you see what Boehner pushes through congress.

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:47 PM

roger that…..even my wallet’s going limp.

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Yes not everyone can win in a compromise. But why does it have to be 50% miltary cuts? Military is 15% of spending. This is a HUGE giveaway to the Dems.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I thought the Tea Party supported spending cuts across the board, including the military? Rand Paul and others have repeatedly made this case. We’ll have to see- if the first round of military cuts are tied to draw downs in the Middle East, then of course those aren’t even real cuts.

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:50 PM

I think that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire is now out of the Bill ?

William Amos on July 31, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Yes not everyone can win in a compromise. But why does it have to be 50% miltary cuts? Military is 15% of spending. This is a HUGE giveaway to the Dems.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:46 PM

btw Where are we getting this 50% number from?

JetBoy on July 31, 2011 at 12:50 PM

Can we cut welfare 50%?
food stamps?
Pell grants?
Can we cut ui benefits from 99 to 50 weeks?

No. But we can cut military by 50%.

This is what passes as a win for conservatives. Pathetic doesn’t even begin to describe the deal.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Lol Bayam. So in your world if govt spending helps the economy why is unemployment 10% after Obama increased spending by 50%?

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:49 PM

If you believe the CBO and Wall Street banks that model economic growth, unemployment would have been 3% higher without stimulus and GNP would have been negative in the last two quarters. Keep in mind that 30% of stimulus was dedicated to tax cuts, and another 30% to unemployment benefits. I’m not certain what source your opinion is based on.

This country could have easily fallen into a deep depression and it’s not clear that the economy is out of the woods yet.

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Even if BBA passes, does anyone think 38 states will ratify?
Off the top of my head I can list 13+ that would never do so.
Ca, or, wa, hi, de, vt, me, ct, ma, ri, ny, nj, de, md, il

Never gonna happen folks.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Somebody once said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” I would love to see that maxim put to use for our benefit for once. If our economy doesn’t improve and in fact worsens then I wouldn’t be so sure that a BBA would have no chance in many of those states.

MJBrutus on July 31, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Jetboy,

50% cut to military is part of the poison pill in the deal. 50% military, 50% everything else. Even though defense is only 15% of govt spending.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I thought the Tea Party supported spending cuts across the board, including the military? Rand Paul and others have repeatedly made this case. We’ll have to see- if the first round of military cuts are tied to draw downs in the Middle East, then of course those aren’t even real cuts.

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:50 PM

There it is. I think they would almost have to be. Little bammie isn’t going to risk the “optics” in an election year, when he’ll have to move HARD to center (appearance wise).

He’s going to go semi-hawkish shortly to get Independents/right-leaning centrists back…….he’s hurting

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 12:56 PM

“…according to Plouffe and another “Democrat familiar with the situation,” there’s still no bill.”

So what.

To paraphrase Queen Pelosi: “You need to pass the bill, then we’ll write it.”

eeyore on July 31, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Jetboy, From the link about about Jack Trapper

According to Jake Tapper, the White House wants fully 50 percent of the automatic cuts to affect the Pentagon and 50 percent to be spread across various other discretionary programs

William Amos on July 31, 2011 at 12:57 PM

I don’t think that 50% of the military will be cut. That just seems odd to me. And even if it was, those cuts would be eliminated by the next GOP President.

Jesse on July 31, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Even if BBA passes, does anyone think 38 states will ratify?
Off the top of my head I can list 13+ that would never do so.
Ca, or, wa, hi, de, vt, me, ct, ma, ri, ny, nj, de, md, il

Never gonna happen folks.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Maybe but boy what an issue this will give GOP state Legislature candidates. Part of the Blue to Red state campaign.

KW64 on July 31, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Even if BBA passes, does anyone think 38 states will ratify?
Off the top of my head I can list 13+ that would never do so.
Ca, or, wa, hi, de, vt, me, ct, ma, ri, ny, nj, de, md, il

Never gonna happen folks.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Yes. There is great popular support for a BBA and a state legislature is more sensitive to their constituencies than the U.S. Congress. So, yes, I do think it’s possible.

cartooner on July 31, 2011 at 12:59 PM

We’ll have to see- if the first round of military cuts are tied to draw downs in the Middle East, then of course those aren’t even real cuts.

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:50 PM

There had better be! AQ is smashed, both nations have been handed democracy on a silver !@#%ing platter, and we fragged Osama. We have no viable reason to continue the two conflicts unless there’s a sudden national movement to increase things to WW2 levels. And that just isn’t gonna happen folks.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 31, 2011 at 12:59 PM

I’ll take “Steaming crap sandwich” for $1000, Alex.

BallisticBob on July 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Even if BBA passes, does anyone think 38 states will ratify?
Off the top of my head I can list 13+ that would never do so.
Ca, or, wa, hi, de, vt, me, ct, ma, ri, ny, nj, de, md, il

Never gonna happen folks.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:29 PM

If the country wants a Constitutional Amendment, it can happen in very little time. The last Amendment, changing the voting age to 18 happened in a few months because people wanted it. If the people resist, it takes alot longer and may or may not happen, i.e. the ERA. The repeal of prohibition was another Amendment that didn’t take that long, because the public supported it. It is nothing to be feared.

txmomof6 on July 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I’m tired of being treated like an over fornicated fowl…

… I feel like I’m a wind sock at the local airport.

Seven Percent Solution on July 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I can’t stand these people.

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2011 at 12:41 PM

That about sums it up for me too.

forest on July 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I don’t think that 50% of the military will be cut. That just seems odd to me. And even if it was, those cuts would be eliminated by the next GOP President.

Jesse on July 31, 2011 at 12:58

I assume that the 1/2 of 1.2 trillion or 600 billion would be spaced over ten years and thus be 60 billion per year. That would be about a 10% cut. Still probably too much with China on the rise.

KW64 on July 31, 2011 at 1:01 PM

People…

… We have a Constitutional Amendment to Balance the Budget here in California.

That’s all you need to know about that…

Seven Percent Solution on July 31, 2011 at 1:02 PM

no…..that would be speaker boner.

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 1:02 PM

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:55 PM

William Amos on July 31, 2011 at 12:57 PM

But where exactly are these cuts going to be…I mean, they’ve been talking about military cuts for months. From what I understand, these cuts are aimed more at payroll than at, say, equipment. I could be wrong tho. Still, why single out the military for vastly the most cuts?

JetBoy on July 31, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Every indication is that the debt-ceiling negotiations are leaving the defense budget in grave jeopardy

No the cuts from defense will come from the Military members. They’ll freeze pay and things like that. They’ve already cut BAH for over 400,000 troops. they’ll just keep taking away from those serving not the programs or fraud, waste and abuse.

Brat4life on July 31, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Furthermore, I think there is a better chance now for a BBA than at anytime in our history because it takes power away from Congressmen and when have they had less approval in our history?

txmomof6 on July 31, 2011 at 1:03 PM

If you believe the CBO and Wall Street banks that model economic growth, unemployment would have been 3% higher without stimulus and GNP would have been negative in the last two quarters. Keep in mind that 30% of stimulus was dedicated to tax cuts, and another 30% to unemployment benefits. I’m not certain what source your opinion is based on.

This country could have easily fallen into a deep depression and it’s not clear that the economy is out of the woods yet.

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:54 PM

An argument to the future is not fact-based because there are no facts to support the conjecture. Speculative projections are fallacious.

onlineanalyst on July 31, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I’m tired of being treated like an over fornicated fowl…

… I feel like I’m a wind sock at the local airport.

Seven Percent Solution on July 31, 2011 at 1:00 PM

no…..that would be speaker boner.

(not as quick as I used to be)

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I don’t think that 50% of the military will be cut. That just seems odd to me. And even if it was, those cuts would be eliminated by the next GOP President.

Jesse on July 31, 2011 at 12:58

Yeah, I’m assuming it’s not 50% of the military budget that would be cut, but 50% of the budgetary cuts would come from the military.

JetBoy on July 31, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I wonder if reducing the DOD budget would necessitate a large reduction in force? What would that do for the unemployment numbers?

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Seven Percent Solution on July 31, 2011 at 1:02 PM
California is not remotely a center right State. America is a center right country and there are more of us than there are of them. And they are concentrated in fewer states. California and New York and Taxachusetts don’t even have to ratify the Amendment and it could still pass.

txmomof6 on July 31, 2011 at 1:05 PM

An argument to the future is not fact-based because there are no facts to support the conjecture. Speculative projections are fallacious.

onlineanalyst on July 31, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I’ll be sure to remember that when someone besides bayam makes an argument to the future.

Uncle Sams Nephew on July 31, 2011 at 1:06 PM

KW64 on July 31, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Yeah, that seems much more likely. I would say we cut it in half. Say 30 billion per year. A 5% cut could be possible and still have enough for the rising Chinese threat.

Jesse on July 31, 2011 at 1:06 PM

From what I understand, these cuts are aimed more at payroll than at, say, equipment. I could be wrong tho. Still, why single out the military for vastly the most cuts?

JetBoy on July 31, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Some from Combat pay and re-enlistment bonuses. but those are small and wont make much of a difference.

Im sure SDI is top on the cut list sadly. And some future weapons that are in developement. Probably some base closings. Would be irony if Pelosi and Feinstein and california lose military dollars.

William Amos on July 31, 2011 at 1:07 PM

I wonder if reducing the DOD budget would necessitate a large reduction in force? What would that do for the unemployment numbers?

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2011 at 1:04 PM

That’s a good question. What percentage of DOD’s budget goes to “hard assets” vs. personnel costs?

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 1:08 PM

JetBoy on July 31, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Pretty much. I don’t think anyone would be foolish enough (even maybe Democrats?) to go for a 50% cut in military. I am sure there is some waste we could do away with however that would keep our military very strong and never reach even 10% in cuts.

Jesse on July 31, 2011 at 1:09 PM

California is not remotely a center right State. America is a center right country and there are more of us than there are of them. And they are concentrated in fewer states. California and New York and Taxachusetts don’t even have to ratify the Amendment and it could still pass.

txmomof6 on July 31, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Remember that many states have petition movements that can get things on the state ballots that Legislatures wont pass. Californians might vote for a FEDERAL BBA knowing that at the State level no such plan would pass.

The key thing is that the BBA would be out in the states running around instead of bottled up in Washington.

William Amos on July 31, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Yeah, I’m assuming it’s not 50% of the military budget that would be cut, but 50% of the budgetary cuts would come from the military.

JetBoy on July 31, 2011 at 1:03 PM

You are correct. The 50% is the off of the 2nd installment of cuts worth 1.2 trillion (over ten years, natch). This means that the most that could be cut in the military is 600 billion over ten years. Look, the cuts are bogus, as they always are. I’m more interested in getting the BBA passed. Unlike some here, I think there’s a good opportunity to pass it in the states, especially after the GOP gains in state houses in 2010. We just have to make sure it’s the right BBA, the one that went with the CCB bill and not the one that went with the Boehner bill.

Weight of Glory on July 31, 2011 at 1:09 PM

committee–> no hurry

McLame is an ass. Sorry mom duty just joined; watching C-SPAN.

ProudPalinFan on July 31, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Some pentagon cuts before this debt debate

WAPO

The Navy, for instance, is feeling pressure to cancel its next-generation ballistic-missile submarine and to reduce its fleet of 11 aircraft carriers. The Air Force is facing renewed doubts about its futuristic long-range bomber. And the Army is worried that it will have to shrink the size of its active-duty force even further; the number of soldiers is already planned to drop from 569,000 to 520,000 over the next five years

William Amos on July 31, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Cindy Munford on July 31, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I don’t know how many more people the military can shed. All most all branches are shedding people this year. There is a line out the door of people waiting to come in since the public sector is so bad. Enlistment requirements are more strict to get in.

Brat4life on July 31, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Sorry, I didn’t mean 50% of the military will be cut. 50% of cuts will be military cuts. Which is absurd since military spending is only 15% of all govt spending. Which means the military will be cut 300% more than anything else relatively speaking.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 1:12 PM

No matter what bill gets passed, there will be those here who will never be happy with it. It just seems that some can never be pleased. Sad but true.

Jesse on July 31, 2011 at 1:13 PM

as summarized by the generally nonpartisan FT:

http://blogs.ft.com/gavyndavies/2011/07/31/us-economic-policy-is-not-yet-triple-a/#axzz1ThXqmJNa

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:41 PM

FT is a left leaning outfit. Certainly not unbiased.

cartooner on July 31, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Are Republicans stupid, gullible or both?

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Both.

By the way, this will do nothing to prevent a downgrade or a market panic. Obama got exactly what he wanted, establishment GOP is of course desperate to spin this as a win.

Norwegian on July 31, 2011 at 1:15 PM

The mental giants in the CBC out with the expected drivel: Congressional Black Caucus Urges Obama To Invoke 14th Amendment And Raise Debt Ceiling

slickwillie2001 on July 31, 2011 at 1:17 PM

If you believe the CBO and Wall Street banks that model economic growth, unemployment would have been 3% higher without stimulus and GNP would have been negative in the last two quarters. Keep in mind that 30% of stimulus was dedicated to tax cuts, and another 30% to unemployment benefits. I’m not certain what source your opinion is based on.

This country could have easily fallen into a deep depression and it’s not clear that the economy is out of the woods yet.

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:54 PM

We are in a deep depression, but it is our kids and grand kids who will feel the pain because we are stealing from them to hide the unemployment.

Democrats blaming Republicans for cuts are like a bunch of thieves blaming the police for bringing on the lowered standard of living when they have to stop stealing.

pedestrian on July 31, 2011 at 1:17 PM

No matter what bill gets passed, there will be those here who will never be happy with it. It just seems that some can never be pleased. Sad but true.
Jesse on July 31, 2011 at 1:13 PM

Why should anyone be expected to be “happy” about it? Resigned maybe, but happy?

Bishop on July 31, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Lol Bayam. If you believe wall at – which got trillions from uncle Sam – govt bailouts are awesome.

Are you really so obtuse? Of course wall at says stimulus is great…..they’re the ones who benefited from it.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Democrats blaming Republicans for cuts are like a bunch of thieves blaming the police for bringing on the lowered standard of living when they have to stop stealing.

pedestrian on July 31, 2011 at 1:17 PM

LMAO!

Keeper!

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Democrats blaming Republicans for cuts are like a bunch of thieves blaming the police for bringing on the lowered standard of living when they have to stop stealing.

pedestrian on July 31, 2011 at 1:17 PM

I like that comparison. I shall steal it and use it as my own. Which, given the subject of the comparison, is somewhat ironic.

Weight of Glory on July 31, 2011 at 1:19 PM

50% in defense…Cripe

cmsinaz on July 31, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Each job created by stimulus cost $280k. Only a fool believes this was money well spent.

angryed on July 31, 2011 at 1:20 PM

If you believe the CBO and Wall Street banks that model economic growth, unemployment would have been 3% higher without stimulus and GNP would have been negative in the last two quarters. Keep in mind that 30% of stimulus was dedicated to tax cuts, and another 30% to unemployment benefits. I’m not certain what source your opinion is based on.

This country could have easily fallen into a deep depression and it’s not clear that the economy is out of the woods yet.

bayam on July 31, 2011 at 12:54 PM

No Bayam. We don’t believe YOU.

Provide us with a link that proves the above. Should be simple to find, since you state it so factually.

And I’m still waiting for your link that proves that 95% of Wall Street are Democrats.

Chuck Schick on July 31, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I’m going to duck when I say this. What happens if they can’t pass this?

herm2416 on July 31, 2011 at 1:21 PM

50% in defense…Cripe

cmsinaz on July 31, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Someone should tell pelousy “well, okay then, I guess we’re just going to have to start using some of our nukes”.

VegasRick on July 31, 2011 at 1:22 PM

I’m going to duck when I say this. What happens if they can’t pass this?

herm2416 on July 31, 2011 at 1:21 PM

You don’t need to duck herm…..they do!

It’ll pass….both sides want political cover ASAP.

Tim_CA on July 31, 2011 at 1:23 PM

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