Open thread: House to vote on debt deal at 2 p.m.? Update: Still awaiting speeches, votes, while Moody’s and S&P’s continue to warn of a downgrade Update: Pelosi says “Vote your conscience” as Biden says “This will pass”

posted at 1:30 pm on August 1, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Leaders on both sides of the aisle have begrudgingly praised the Budget Control Act of 2011, and newspapers this morning hailed it as the deal to prevent default, but the bill isn’t quite “done and done.”

Supposedly, Speaker John Boehner hopes the House will vote first on the deal as a special “Message to the Senate,” possibly as early as 2 p.m., but that’s not confirmed yet, so stand by … In the meantime, let’s parse the chances of passage in both the House and Senate. (In case you missed the actual details of the fluid deal, here’s a solid summary.)

Vice President Joe Biden this morning headed to both chambers to confer with Democratic leadership to ensure the necessary votes would be there — a sign that the bill’s success isn’t quite a sure thing. And no wonder: Critics on both sides find the bill, at best, a disappointment and, at worst (from passage’s standpoint), utterly unpalatable.

But, for the first time since the House passed its original budget, the Senate doesn’t seem to be the biggest threat to passage of a deal, a reflection, perhaps, that this newest compromise was primarily brokered by the president and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), with a relatively early sign-off from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), for one, will be a “yes” vote on the bill he’s glad doesn’t require the passage of a balanced budget amendment (which he again insisted this morning on “Fox and Friends” is an impossible proposition as long as Republicans control just one-third of the government). Sure, he says he’ll have to “swallow hard” and he also claims he’s concerned about the defense spending cuts the bill could engender, but he’ll vote for it anyway. Other establishment Republicans will likely vote the same way — and the Democrats will line up behind Reid, as they always do.

But a few solutions-oriented senators will still vote against a bill that signifies a political accomplishment only. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), for example, has said he’ll vote against it on the grounds that it does nothing to reform the way Washington spends taxpayer money. And Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) reportedly feels queasy at the thought of a vote on a “disgusting” debt ceiling increase of $2.4 trillion.

“Even right now we are supposedly talking about a deal that will be $2.4-trillion worth,” Johnson said last night on Fox News. ‘Think about what that is: $2.4-million-million worth. You just have a couple people negotiating this. I mean, it is ridiculous. We’re talking about the federal government’s budget here. … Ten years ago we spent $1.8 trillion. This year we will spend $3.6 trillion, and more. What the president’s budget would do after 10 years: Increase that from $3.7 to $5.7 trillion. He would spend $46 trillion. And all we are doing is lowering that by, what, $900 billion? … It may be a step in the right direction, but it is not fixing the problem.”

In the House, Democrats and Republicans alike aren’t amenable, either. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), for example, met the most recent proposal with a cold reception, even though her former adviser Brendan Daly told me this morning he’s confident she’ll release her caucus to vote for it, even if she herself votes “no.”

On the right, Tea Party stalwarts like Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and Rep. Louis Gomert (R-Tex.) have said they’ll vote against the bill. (“I’m looking for a reason to vote ‘yes’ and I can’t find it,” Gomert told Alisyn Camerota on “America’s Newsroom” this morning. He was quite literally “looking” — he stayed up past 2:00 a.m. studying the bill, he said.) The other 20 GOP representatives who voted against House Speaker John Boehner’s original compromise bill will also likely remain steadfast in the face of this new and still-more-watery legislation. More Republicans might defect.

The sticking point among slightly more “establishment” R’s in the House still seems to be the potential cuts to defense funding, which would go into effect should Congress fail to enact the recommendations of the compromise bill’s special commission to reduce the deficit. Importantly, House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) and other members of HASC are still weighing whether to vote “yes.”

But as AP pointed out last night, the Democrats who will support this Obama-McConnell last-minute deal will probably more than cover the loss of any additional Republicans. Plus, Boehner is fighting harder than any of the chief compromise crafters to sell this bill, so he’ll likely limit the number of Republican “no” votes.

We shall see …

Update I: Vice President Biden will speak in moments to report the results of his meetings with Democratic leadership earlier today. Still no word on when the actual vote will be. But, in the meantime, both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s have suggested they’re less than happy with the deal as it is.

Update II: Looks like the House vote will be in the evening at the earliest … Via Guy Benson: “Joe Biden is meeting with House Democrats this afternoon to help sell the deal  in advance of a vote, which could come this evening.  Down the hall, Harry Reid says he’d also prefer to tee-up a Senate vote for today, but can’t commit to it.”

Update III: Nancy Pelosi is telling her people to “vote your conscience.” That means no real whipping from the vote-lassoing queen.

But Biden still sounds hopeful that the bill will pass. “I didn’t go to convince; I went to explain and lay out exactly how we got to where we were and why this is so important for the country,” he said moments ago, coming out of meeting with Democrats. “They expressed all their frustration, which I’d be frustrated if i were sitting there, as well, that it came down to the wire, as well. They asked about the proposed legislation. I thought it was a good meeting and I feel confident that this will pass.” Biden said the “one, overwhelming, redeeming feature” of the deal is that it prevents the debt ceiling from coming up for debate again until after 2012 — “and that has nothing to do with elections.”

Update IV: I just wrote a separate post about the House Republican leadership press conference, but the key takeaway is that Boehner’s sounding confident the deal will pass in the House.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Biden said the “one, overwhelming, redeeming feature” of the deal is that it prevents the debt ceiling from coming up for debate again until after 2012 — “and that has nothing to do with elections.”

*Snort*

KS Rex on August 1, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Relevant article from Salon…the Lefties aren’t too happy with The One over this either.

JetBoy on August 1, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Lindsey Graham on record as a definite NO.

SouthernGent on August 1, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Did he not understand the question?

Aviator on August 1, 2011 at 4:00 PM

I’m mobile now. Is Boehner crying yet?

Key West Reader on August 1, 2011 at 3:58 PM

Soon, after the Tea Party kicks him in the nuts..

PatriotRider on August 1, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Tax Hikes ‘Impossible’ Under Debt Deal? Think Again …

Ward Cleaver on August 1, 2011 at 3:13 PM

save for the 2012 ones (the expired Bush tax cuts) :-)…or those don’t count as ‘raised taxes’ in this ‘debt deal’ jargon? :-)…arrgh, semantics :-)

jimver on August 1, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Boehner is praising the deal as “all spending cuts”. If you look a little closer you will find that there are provisions for raising the debt limit by up to 2.4 trillion dollars before next years election. How does one “cut spending” while borrowing an additional 2.4 trillion? Rest assured, if the money is available, our current group in congress will spend it. If this deal passes, Obama ends up with another 2 trillion slush fund. So… just how does one cut spending by borrowing more money? Of course, one does not. Boehner is a liar.

Lon Chaney on August 1, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Key West Reader on August 1, 2011 at 3:58 PM

No, they didn’t say anything we don’t already know. “It’s not perfect, no taxes, blah, blah, blah.

If you didn’t see it, you didn’t miss anything.

bluefox on August 1, 2011 at 4:03 PM

I hope prison sex is something you all enjoy…

Seven Percent Solution on August 1, 2011 at 4:06 PM

LOL @ 7pct.

Key West Reader on August 1, 2011 at 4:09 PM

HondaV65 on August 1, 2011 at 4:03 PM

So true. What a farce and what a price they are going to pay for this. Of course, we the American people pay also.

Boehner said he told B.O. back in the first of the year, no debt ceiling increase without spending cuts. And now? He’s ready to promote this? Too bad he didn’t explain the reason he’s changed his mind and now wants to give B.O. everything plus more.

bluefox on August 1, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Boehner is a liar.

Lon Chaney on August 1, 2011 at 4:02 PM

He’s going to have a tough time retaining credibility as a leader after this.

a capella on August 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Did my comments get deleted?

dogsoldier on August 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Cantor now saying he will have the votes.

When did Boehner and Cantor join the Democratic Party?

Oil Can on August 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Just curious about how the procedures work. If a congressman says yes I’ll vote for it in the pre vote counting to the whip and then when the actual vote comes up, just votes no to kill it, what would happen?

Is that how it actually works? Why don’t we see this very often?

jeffn21 on August 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM

He lied … this Boehner back in May …

Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase,” he said. “And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given.”

Obama gets all of the increased spending before the end of 2012. However – the cuts Boehner designed won’t be all harvested until 2021 – or, longer. I don’t call those cuts – because, even if there vald (they are not) they extend so far into the future that any Congress could simply agree not to abide by the cuts.

So … he lied again.

HondaV65 on August 1, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Did my comments get deleted?

dogsoldier on August 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM

This comment?

Perceptron on August 1, 2011 at 4:20 PM

HondaV65 on August 1, 2011 at 4:18 PM

He needs a vote of no confidence TO-DAY.

fossten on August 1, 2011 at 4:21 PM

What does it take to get through their thick skulls?

If the cuts that really are cuts total over 4 trillion the whole rush to ram this through is a bust.

Its the downgrade stupid.

Speakup on August 1, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Speaking of being in a rush:

If the cuts that really aren’t cuts don’t total over 4 trillion the whole rush to ram this through is a bust.

Speakup on August 1, 2011 at 4:23 PM

Perceptron on August 1, 2011 at 4:20 PM

I’m all set thanks.

With the WH doing victory laps and Biden saying they have the votes, the chances are good this thing will go down in flames.

Failbama’s record precedes him.

dogsoldier on August 1, 2011 at 4:25 PM

“They (the Senate Dems) expressed all their frustration, which I’d be frustrated if i were sitting there, as well, that it came down to the wire, as well.

Well, gee, Biden, after 220-some days, where is the Senate budget? Schumer and Reid fought the idea of presenting or passing one all of this time for politics’ sake. The American people are not only “frustrated” with this lack of accountability, they are disgusted. Who “took this down to the wire” except the spendthrift Dems, who shot up this unconscionable debt to begin with?

onlineanalyst on August 1, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Just curious about how the procedures work. If a congressman says yes I’ll vote for it in the pre vote counting to the whip and then when the actual vote comes up, just votes no to kill it, what would happen?

Is that how it actually works? Why don’t we see this very often?

jeffn21 on August 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM

My guess is that such a congressperson would face consequences from his/her party if they did this.

Monkeytoe on August 1, 2011 at 4:27 PM

We shamble on through this hell
Taking on more bargains to sell
Till there comes a day when we sell our souls away!
Through the mist so much is beckoning
Comes that moment of reckoning
Faces change, even smiles grow strange
And we all have so many faces
The real self often erases
Enticing lies flicker through our eyes
Feel the terror draw ever nearer
The more you stare in the mirror

PercyB on August 1, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Remember, they could have capped spending at this year’s amount and ‘saved’ $9.6 trillion!

And still spent us into oblivion…

ajacksonian on August 1, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Vice President Joe Biden joined House Democrats in lashing tea party Republicans Monday, accusing them of having “acted like terrorists” in the fight over raising the nation’s debt limit.

ahem…please take note of this lil’ ditty from tha sheriff…..

ted c on August 1, 2011 at 4:34 PM

drudge is redlining sheriff joe’s comment right now. Sheriff Joe needs a little backlash if you ask me.

ted c on August 1, 2011 at 4:36 PM

About those spending cuts: The cuts like all cuts in DC are an arbitrary reduction in an arbitrary rate of increase. Which means nothing. It is a reduction in the speed we will go off the cliff at. Unfortunately, after leaving the precipice you will be in a free fall no matter the speed you left the cliff at.

Dasher on August 1, 2011 at 4:38 PM

“My guess is that such a congressperson would face consequences from his/her party if they did this.”

They shouldn’t. The only vote that matters is the one on the floor, and that’s a matter between the voters and their representative. The party leadership and apparatus exist only to serve the caucus, not to rule them.

GalosGann on August 1, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Did my comments get deleted?

dogsoldier on August 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Are you aware that there’s a whole bunch of bad words or bad sites to link to that will send a comment into the trash?

slickwillie2001 on August 1, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Biden says the right are “terroists”. The VP of the USA says that millions of citizen voters are “terrorists”. And we have to sit back and take that?

Willie on August 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Obviously we want to fix this, but these “rating agencies” have never caught a market collapse and have never acted to protect the public from a company/investment firm that was indeed collapsing. Why does anyone care about them again?

Rainsford on August 1, 2011 at 4:55 PM

HondaV65 on August 1, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Nice post Honda. It also is the reason why the mortgage industry crumbled. People making $48k a year celebreated their “restraint” – through an ARM – that they bought a $650k home and not the approved full $820k mortgage…

Nevermind they should never have been looking above $250k…

Odie1941 on August 1, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Biden says the right are “terroists”. The VP of the USA says that millions of citizen voters are “terrorists”. And we have to sit back and take that?

Willie on August 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I’m not taking that crap.

ted c on August 1, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Biden says the right are “terroists”. The VP of the USA says that millions of citizen voters are “terrorists”. And we have to sit back and take that?

Willie on August 1, 2011 at 4:54 PM

I’m not taking that crap.

ted c on August 1, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Bigmouth on the Bob Beckel show is blaming it on Tea Party terrorists in the ‘Tea-Terror Party’. Is there a bigger jackass on tv today?

slickwillie2001 on August 1, 2011 at 5:19 PM

hmm, this is from a NYT thread, a comment to a bizarre short ‘article’/commentary by Krugman…this comment/er got recommended by 75 readers…

‘If you are a liberal or progressive, the Democrats and Obama are no longer useful, they are not our party anymore, and won’t be. They are a sort of “shadow Republican” party. In other words, there is no chance for meaningful representation of liberals and progressives within the Democrats or national government. Either boycott their elections – stay home and let the Democrats find a new base to abuse – or run alternative candidates on independent party lines.’

jimver on August 1, 2011 at 5:20 PM

HondaV65 on August 1, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Wimpy Economics at its best. If you buy me a hamburger today (debt limit increase) I’ll gladly pay you back on Tuesday (spending cuts in a decade). The Pubs got rolled on this in the 80′s now the current group will get rolled to. What is that famous line? “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. The Pubs own it if they go along.

chemman on August 1, 2011 at 5:33 PM

I hope we get downgraded. This is a huge win for liberals. All of the talk about “the liberals hate this” is a sham, propaganda.

McConnell is a whore. He should get tested for STDs.

There is nothing else, no political will by any leader on the right or left to address the problem.

Debt limit extension. Yes.
Change spending habits. No.
Revisit this before the 2012 election? No.

What’s on the chopping block? Defense, Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement.

What is not on the chopping block? Obamacare – remember, this g-damn program siphons $$$ off of Medicare…

So what have we accomplished?
Giving more cash/heroin to the spending-addicted liberals & “experienced” establishment Republicans to continue spending.
Weakening national defense. (If I was Chinese, after this passes, I’d increase military spending because Obama is intent to castrate his defense… Or, maybe increased spending isn’t necessary anymore for the same reason.)
Ensure payment to Acorn & Planned Parenthood. If Acorn is still able to get federal $ as an organization under a different name, and the Republicans are not willing to fight this (nor defund Obamacare) now, how is this going to be relevant in the “super-duper commission” talks?
Create a “super-duper commission” which Obama will ignore anyway (remember Simpson Bowles???)… after all, why should he care whether the military gets funding or if evil hospitals get paid? This will only serve to consolidate his base – because that is exactly what they want him to do!
Expediting the transition to socialized medicine in this country… Contrary to what Democrats say, by raiding Medicare now, they are actually the ones pushing grandma off of the cliff, just to force “middle class” people to buy insurance. She’ll have to pay out of pocket, if she wants to get any medical care at all… that is if President “treat her with pain medicine” has his way… More MDs will retire, hospitals will close, because federal programs pay < 20-30 cents/1 health care $. Grandma will have a hard time finding a physician, unless she pays with $$$ up front. Lets euthanize the elderly.
Ensure that Obama & Congressional Democrats will get re-elected, because they don't have to revisit this issue again prior to the next election. Their plan? Continue to demonize fiscally conservative folks, pander and spend, count on the rest of this country's short-term memory, and, if they're lucky, complete the transition of the US from a democratic republic into a socialist republic, or a bankrupt one with a devalued currency, whichever comes first.

Danny on August 1, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Interesting that my congressman wants feedback on whether or not troops should get paid. Personally, I know that he is all for them getting paid and is conservative. Just wondering why suddenly needing the feedback.

Kermit on August 1, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Has Boehner named a single entitlement or any government program, other than defense, that will decrease in size & scope due to this bill? Does this bill stop the neverending creations of new departments by Executive Fiat?

Have they even cut one of the 35 ladies-in-waiting for Michelle? Some R should have introduced that in the bill. It’s symbolic.

AND what happened to 3 days to read the bill?

batterup on August 1, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Ok, so the final shoe is in this bill.

This bill DOES contain CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS right through 2013!

Boehner has reduced the Tea Party to ONE vote, and BOEHNER has lined up his INSIDER Republicans with the DEMOCRATS to END this congressional session! Make no mistake, this is the LAST meaningfull vote that the representatives elected in 2010 will have!

There will be NO DEBATE for 2 years due to the TREACHERY of JOHN BOEHNER!

Freddy on August 1, 2011 at 6:04 PM

AND what happened to 3 days to read the bill?

batterup on August 1, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Just another lie of convenience by John Boehner!

Freddy on August 1, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3