Report: Reid offers McConnell deal that would end fiscal standoff

posted at 12:51 pm on October 14, 2013 by Allahpundit

The terms: Government re-opens and is funded until mid-December, debt ceiling is raised for another six to nine months, and Democrats maybe agree to repeal ObamaCare’s medical-device tax and reinstate anti-fraud measures for O-Care applicants — depending upon what Republicans give them in return.

Peace in our time?

The proposal would set up a framework for larger budget negotiations with the House over the automatic sequestration spending cuts and and other major deficit issues, the sources said…

McConnell is still reviewing the offer and is privately huddling with groups of GOP senators Monday who could be key to providing enough votes in the Senate. On Monday morning, McConnell met with Sens. John McCain of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Mark Kirk of Illinois…

While the proposal has similarities to one offered by [GOP Sen. Susan] Collins, it has some very key differences over the length of the stop-gap spending measure and the debt ceiling hike. Collins proposed extending government spending for six months, which Democrats objected to because they argued it would lock in the $967 billion sequestration levels for 2014 required under the 2011 Budget Control Act. She also suggested extending the debt ceiling through the end of January, far too short of a time period for many Democrats…

On another track, House Republican leadership is readying itself to lift the debt ceiling for six weeks. House GOP aides stress that no decisions have been made, but this legislation is unlikely to be “clean” – meaning it will contain a number of conservative policies attached.

Reid is willing to accept lower sequestration levels of spending in the short term, in order to end the shutdown, but not for all of next year. And obviously, to avoid another round of fiscal brinksmanship, he wants the debt ceiling punted as far as possible into the future so that Boehner and the GOP aren’t once again tempted to combine funding the government with raising the debt ceiling. That means a short-term bill to fund the government, so that Democrats can start pounding the table to end sequestration ASAP, and a long-term bill for raising the debt limit. Collins and the GOP naturally want the opposite — a long-term bill on funding the government which guarantees sequestration spending levels into next year and a short-term debt ceiling hike so that Republicans can, if they wish, use that as leverage sooner rather than later for some new demand. Normally this would be easily solved splitting the difference on both time frames — e.g., four months for each prong — except, in that case, the next government funding negotiations would fall roughly around the time we’re hitting the debt ceiling again, which is exactly what Democrats fear. Someone’s going to have to win here on the timetable.

Big question: If Reid wins, as seems likely, how does Boehner get this past the House? I’ve always thought he’d be willing to do one big cave in the name of finally getting this off his plate, but a short(ish)-term deal doesn’t do that. It’ll disappoint conservatives and then set him up to disappoint them again in December or April or whenever the next round of kabuki brinksmanship begins. In fact, he may not even have a majority of his own caucus to pass Reid’s bill, in which case he’d have to break the Hastert Rule just to buy himself and the leadership a reprieve of a few months before they begin this again. Whether they want to or not, they’re going to have to no choice but to aggressively pursue some sort of major fiscal deal with O and Reid when this is over just so that, if they can come to terms on anything, they can add on a significant debt-limit hike as a condition that would punt this past next November. The last thing they want is tea partiers clamoring for some debt-ceiling chicken next spring or summer, with turnout in the midterms potentially hanging in the balance. So maybe that’s the “way out” here — a cave of three months or so in the next few days and then the rest of autumn spent negotiating deficit reduction with Obama.

Exit question: Is there enough time left to pass a deal before we hit the ceiling on Thursday? The Senate can move quickly to approve a deal only if all 100 members consent unanimously to waiving the rules for 30 hours of debate. And you know what that means.

Update: Obama’s meeting with Reid, McConnell, Boehner, and Pelosi at the White House at 3 p.m ET. Also attending: Dealmaker Joe Biden, who’s been sidelined until now because Reid wanted to play chicken with Republicans.

Update: Lefty Jonathan Chait wonders if the claim that Democrats are demanding an end to sequestration spending was actually invented by centrist Republicans to convince the House that they’re “winning” if they accept a short-term deal that keeps sequestration spending in place for two or three months. Reid, as noted, isn’t actually opposed to keeping lower levels of spending in place for a few months (but only a few months). If that’s what’s happening, though, it carries a big risk — what if actually unifies Republicans in opposition?


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rightside on October 14, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Sorry…..but I will say that I got a thumbs up on the spelling from the Urban Dictionary.

Cindy Munford on October 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Sequester should be the “poison pill” Will referenced. My god I hope they don’t swallow that pill.

WisRich on October 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

Sequester should be the “poison pill” Will referenced. My god I hope they don’t swallow that pill.

WisRich on October 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

They already have. Corker suggested an “in between” this morning. I hope he gets scroomed, badly, and then someone throws lemons juice on him.

Schadenfreude on October 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Just do this: pass a bill that reopens the government, and raises the debt ceiling, which also explicitly repeals Obamacare, bans abortion, reinstitutes DOMA & Don’t-Ask, Don’t-Tell, mandates e-Verify, builds the border fence, builds Keystone XL, and eliminates the EPA.

Then gavel the House out of session and leave the Senate holding the bag.

Stoic Patriot on October 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

They already have. Corker suggested an “in between” this morning. I hope he gets scroomed, badly, and then someone throws lemons juice on him.

Schadenfreude on October 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Then it’s back to Boehner to say no deal. Spine time John.

WisRich on October 14, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Actually, Boehner should come out right now and say any deal that put’s sequestration on the table is a non starter.

WisRich on October 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Someone’s going to have Democrats are going to win here on the timetable.

FIFY

Mr. Arkadin on October 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Hard to see how this will get through the House. And if Boehner tries to do an end-run around his own caucus, then it will be all out war.

Sequestration, after all, is the law of the land and shouldn’t be negotiated.

Happy Nomad on October 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Actually, Boehner should come out right now and say any deal that put’s sequestration on the table is a non starter.

WisRich on October 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Too late.

Steve Eggleston on October 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM

If Cruz plays this right, he could destroy Obama’s second term in one move and not through “default”.

I’m hoping he’ll see it. It’s all about going at Barry personally and away from wonkish bargaining.

Humanize the real issue and Barry will make the wrong move out of blind arrogance.

Then Cruz can call him on it and let the ceiling pass. Tables reversed. Obama’s personal fav’s tank and he’s exposed, killing any other big legislation.

budfox on October 14, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Hard to see how this will get through the House. And if Boehner tries to do an end-run around his own caucus, then it will be all out war.

Sequestration, after all, is the law of the land and shouldn’t be negotiated.

Happy Nomad on October 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM

It’s very easy – the Rats plus Bo(eh)ner’s “leadership” team equals 218. The tricky part is having some of them retain their chairmanship spots in the aftermath.

Steve Eggleston on October 14, 2013 at 2:35 PM

What about the sweetheart exemptions and subsidies Congress gets?

Forgotten, right?

rrpjr on October 14, 2013 at 2:37 PM

By the way, the senate Repubs better not come to some agreement without certainty that the House is going to pass it. That would make the Repubs look terrible. Now the House has done a clean debt limit rise, and left that on the table. You don’t want to undercut that.

anotherJoe on October 14, 2013 at 2:42 PM

It’s very easy – the Rats plus Bo(eh)ner’s “leadership” team equals 218. The tricky part is having some of them retain their chairmanship spots in the aftermath.

Steve Eggleston on October 14, 2013 at 2:35 PM

That is why I think it would be hard, the math only works if some of the political class are willing to commit political sepuku in their support of Obama and Senate Dems over a significant party bloc in the House (no matter what establishment politicians say about the Tea Party). You really think that Paul Ryan is willing to fall on his sword for a short-term increase in the debt ceiling with nothing else on the GOP agenda and undoing sequestration “cuts?”

Happy Nomad on October 14, 2013 at 2:43 PM

That is why I think it would be hard, the math only works if some of the political class are willing to commit political sepuku in their support of Obama and Senate Dems over a significant party bloc in the House (no matter what establishment politicians say about the Tea Party). You really think that Paul Ryan is willing to fall on his sword for a short-term increase in the debt ceiling with nothing else on the GOP agenda and undoing sequestration “cuts?”

Happy Nomad on October 14, 2013 at 2:43 PM

He already has.

Steve Eggleston on October 14, 2013 at 2:45 PM

NEWS FLASH:

John McCain seen going in Ted Cruz’s office to tell him “I support your efforts, you can depend on me to vote conservative as I always have.”

All the RINO’s to follow him as always.

Film at 12:00

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 2:47 PM

The way Drudge and FoxNews are acting now both the owners of those two must be in the middle of the IRS audits.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 2:49 PM

libfreeordie loves the American way

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Obama is a good guy with good grades has not smoked recent and wants what is best for the American way and the American people and for sure supports American Vets.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

If Reid likes it, then there is something wrong with it.

sadatoni on October 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

libfreeordie always gives direct answers to questions put to him on the Hot Air Blog, almost as often as Obama answers questions from a conservative media person.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

libfreeordie loves the American ObamiNation way

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 2:50 PM

ReWrite™ engaged for accuracy.

Steve Eggleston on October 14, 2013 at 2:55 PM

Harry Reid acts like a little two bit punk when in fact unknow to all he is a world class piss ant American hating commie.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

libfreeordie always gives direct answers to questions put to him on the Hot Air Blog, almost as often as Obama answers questions from a conservative media person.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

How to deal with entitlement reform?
1. Eliminate the income cap on social security taxes
2. Make Medicare means tested by taxing higher income/wealth levels for medicare benefits as income.
3. Make passive income subject to social security taxes.

libfreeordie on October 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

The way Drudge and FoxNews are acting now both the owners of those two must be in the middle of the IRS audits.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 2:49 PM

You continue to not get it. If Fox or Drudge or any conservative outlet is pushing to avoid default it is not because the state is pressuring them (the very idea is laughable) it is because CAPITAL is pressuring them.

libfreeordie on October 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM

How to deal with entitlement reform?
1. Eliminate the income cap on social security taxes
2. Make Medicare means tested by taxing higher income/wealth levels for medicare benefits as income.
3. Make passive income subject to social security taxes.

libfreeordie on October 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

So, turn it into a welfare programme, which Democrats have always argued it isn’t.

You still have a MASSIVE demographic problem and Medicare.

FTW, the unfunded future liabilities are $222 trillion (PV).

And, the Fed announced last year that it would seek to devalue the USD by 33% over the next two decades to shave off 20% of last year’s debt.

Do you have ANY idea what kind of taxes EVERYONE will have to pay in the future?

If not, here:

‘Lies’ About Social Security and Medicare Pandering Politicians Never Told You

And, I only cite the CBO, CMS, SSA, CRS, CPBB, etc. No Heritage or Freedom Works, so if you have a problem, take it up with them.

Resist We Much on October 14, 2013 at 3:04 PM

First off, the anti-fraud measures are a loser for the Democrats. How can you explain to people to put their personal information into a computer and not have it stolen? This is part of the law. If they choose to pick and choose what pieces of the law they want to use as bargaining chips, this law was nothing but leverage against Republicans and had nothing to do with uninsured people.
Second, the Democrats are screaming about the revenue that will be lost on the medical device tax. Well, reinstate the employer mandate. They had no problems worrying about the lost revenue here, so they would have to come up with an excuse for that. Additionally, the GOP should stop the Congressional reimbursements and have them pay the co-pays and deductibles.
Finally, they could use the Obama campaign rhetoric – he cares only about the rich and famous. We see it everyday as he campaigns with Hollywood, Warren Buffett and other big business people (Brian Roberts and Jeff Imelt). Remind people about the income disparities and how large they have become under Obama. Remind them that the stimulus program was a farce (shovel ready projects weren’t as shovel ready as we thought) and the only beneficiaries were his political supporters, namely the green industry, union heads and Hollywood. Remind them of the tax break Hollywood got. And the bonuses he allowed the bailed out bank executives (Dodd Amendment to AARA).
It’s time to reconnect with America. These things will do just that. It will also help the GOP when other issues like immigration reform, charter schools and abortion are addressed.

djaymick on October 14, 2013 at 3:05 PM

Reid offers McConnell deal that would end fiscal standoff

With or without KY?

socalcon on October 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Harry Reid to McConnell: “Heads I win. Tails you lose.” And, MM laps it up like the progressive he is.

totherightofthem on October 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Without the Tea PartyThe Republicans would be far less than a Third Party.

So, I laugh when any FOX NEWS guest or so called analyst rips into the Tea Party and the Republicans for having “No Strategy”.

This isn’t about strategy…. This is about our country…the American way of life….

How dare the Republicans even remotely THINK they can give up in the middle of the fight and suffer no consequences?

There will be plenty of consequences if the Republicans are pressured into “caving” into a pathetic deal just to re-open the Government.

If the Democrats wants the Government re-opened they should cut a deal WITH US…. Not the other way around.

Varchild on October 14, 2013 at 3:41 PM

not because the state is pressuring them (the very idea is laughable) it is because CAPITAL is pressuring them.

libfreeordie on October 14, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Right. Because the very idea of the State or Obama pressuring or intimidating anybody is laughable.

Because the State never does that and Obama has never done that.

Nixon had an enemies list, but how many people were truly afraid of him? And the people who were afraid of him actually were his enemies. With Obama, it seems that quite a few of the people who are afraid of him are his admirers and supporters, fellow-liberals and Democrats in the press and elsewhere. They’re afraid to tell the truth, afraid they’ll be punished for not sucking up fast enough and furiously enough.
http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/10/remember-alice-palmer/

It’s how this punk got his start in politics, you stupid Chomsky-lite prat.

rrpjr on October 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM

It’s how this punk got his start in politics, you stupid Chomsky-lite prat.

rrpjr on October 14, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Well, to be perfectly honest, this marxist, America-hating dog-eater got his start in Alinsky’s living room.

HiJack on October 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

One more thing, we conservatives should make sure we never vote for any Republican who has a photo opp with any commie Democrat of any kind any where any time.

They should be shuned and our backs turned on them as they have turned their backs on the Constitution, freedom, the rule of law and justice for all.

Walk away from them and do it now.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 5:11 PM

One of the lead Republicans in leadership who is going along with the cave in, Pete Sessions and there is something we/you/all of U.S. can do.

Send money, help work, and vote.

http://www.katrinaforcongress.com/

More, better, “sweet” and smart as hell and will not back down.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Too,,

Stay on our toes, they have all the “boogie men” up in front of U.S. now and that is when they sneak in behind and and back shoot U.S., the amnesty is their twenty peices of silver they lust for, just say more than no. If they do that treason we must rebel total.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on October 14, 2013 at 5:16 PM

The crazy thing is that the govt is starting to reopen (as national parks) without a “clean CR.” DON’T fund Obamacare to open the govt. Go ahead with a debt ceiling rise by itself.

It’s going to be considered a major betrayal if Obamacare funding sneaks in in exchange for opening the govt. That’s why the govt was closed inn the first place! Get the damn debt raised, or not, but leave Obamacare funding out of it. Leave the govt shutdown about Obamacare alone because we are going to win the shutdown fight. Decouple the shutdown from the debt ceiling! The shutdown and debt ceiling are two different things, and don’t try to resolve both of them now as the key debt ceiling deadline approaches.

If the senate has got some deal that the house won’t go for, go back to the drawing board, and involve the house — IN DEBT CEILING TALKS ONLY (no talks about the shutdown!).

anotherJoe on October 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM

AJsDaddie on October 14, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I just checked that poll.

Your post:

Obama: 64.58%
Democrats: 24.63%
Tea Party: 4.57%
Republicans: 3.38%
Other: 2.28%
Boehner: 0.55%

Current at 6:45PM

Obama 59.83%
Democrats 24.35%
Tea Party 6.58%
Republicans 5.77%
Other 2.24%
Boehner 1.22%

bluefox on October 14, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Here’s an idea, Give Harry and Barry everything they want and ask for nothing in return. Problem solved, Boner and Turtlehead McConnell both conquering heroes and WTF, we’re all dog meat now anyway.

Mr. Grump on October 14, 2013 at 7:41 PM

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