Scotty B might be off the hook. Over at the Examiner, Philip Klein hears that the Senate’s not only about to table Boehner’s bill, they’re about to table Reid’s bill. How come? Apparently it has to do with the CBO score: Reid’s plan ended up coming in lower than expected, just as Boehner’s bill did, so presumably he thinks it’s D.O.A. as is. (In fact, if you toss out Reid’s gimmicks, Boehner’s bill would save more money than his would.) Whether that’s true or just an excuse because he realizes the GOP has enough votes to filibuster, I assume this means Reid won’t bother offering his own bill at all. What he’ll do instead is meet with McConnell and Boehner tonight and come up with something that can get seven Republican votes, then file for cloture late — very late — this evening so that they’re on track for a final vote on Monday. But who knows? Things are chaotic right now. Turn on CSPAN 2 and watch the fun.
There’s already been one surprise since the House vote, in fact. From Cantor’s spokesman:
House to vote on @SenatorReid ‘s Debt Ceiling bill tomorrow – will show not capable of passing.
They’re pushing that out now, of course, to warn Reid not to waste time by pushing his own bill. Maybe that’s why he’s supposedly ready to table his own plan. Stand by for updates. Possible RINO sightings to come!
Update: A cryptic tweet from Claire McCaskill:
McConnell told Senator Reid at around 6pm that he will not negotiate with him. Sigh. Very Disappointing.
I think that means he won’t negotiate until Boehner’s bill is voted on. As for Reid’s own bill being tabled, Mark Knoller illuminates: “McConnell offered to let Reid vote on his deficit bill tonight. Reid agreed IF McConnell agrees to simple majority passage. Offer withdrawn.” So the GOP held out. Reid didn’t have the votes.
Update: Boehner’s bill is dead — but not on a party-line vote. It was 59/41, presumably because Senate tea partiers like DeMint and Rand Paul voted no. I’ll post the roll as soon as I have it.
Update: Another surprise: It looks like Reid wants a vote on his bill after all and is “filling the amendment tree” to make sure the GOP doesn’t try to add anything to it. But he doesn’t have the votes. Supposedly, he’s called a presser at 8:45 p.m. to whine about a GOP filibuster.
Update: McConnell’s offering to vote on Reid’s bill now but Reid won’t agree unless it’s a simple majority. He can’t get to 60. Republicans are holding the line (or at least 41 are).
Update: The six Republicans who voted against Boehner’s bill: DeMint, Lee, Paul, Vitter, and Orrin Hatch and Lindsey Graham, both of whom are in robust reelection-pander mode.