Harry Reid last December:
“I want the Republicans to have some buy-in on the debt,” he said. “They’re going to have a majority in the House. I think they should have some kind of a buy-in on the debt. I don’t think it should be when we have a heavily Democratic Senate, a heavily Democratic House and a Democratic president.”
The tax cut bill was probably the only vehicle by which Dems could have averted a filibuster and raised the debt ceiling this year. That ship has sailed, so now the question is whether Democrats will let Republicans set the terms of the debt ceiling debate next year. Republicans have been very clear that they’ll try to use the threat of a default to force spending cuts. Reid seems awfully eager call soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner’s bluff and watch him squirm.
Harry Reid today:
“Obvious what is being done in the House is not compromise. It is being jammed through with all kinds of non-transparent dealings, people shuffling in and out of the Republican Leader’s office. We’re recognizing that the only compromise that there is, is mine,” Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said.
Boehner may be squirming, a little, but so is the frustrated (and clearly delusional) Reid, and Obama, whose poll numbers have been dropping like a rock since the debt ceiling fight began.
Obama is basically flacking for the liberal Democrats in Congress right now. They want to run on ever-increasing government spending; they will not countenance a cut.
But Obama’s political best play is not the same as theirs. These Congressional liberals come from blue states and super-liberal districts; they’re not running in a national election, in a country that prioritizes spending cuts over most other agenda items.
In these circumstances, it may be best to do as the Tea Party Brinskmanship Brigade advises and just slow play this, letting Obama bleed and bleed, until he breaks with liberal Congressmen and starts negotiating something closer to the Republican position.
Today Senate Republicans gave the conservative Speaker a standing ovation.
Speaker of the House John Boehner just quietly ventured over to the Senate side and dropped in on a closed lunch of Senate Republicans.
The lunch – pizza, again – was in the Strom Thurmond room.
I am told Boehner got a standing ovation from his Senate Republican colleagues.
And the “adult in the room” has summoned his flying monkeys on Twitter to bombard congressional Republicans with Tweets:
President Obama declared a Twitter war on Republican lawmakers today through his online account, @barackobama – just moments after telling the nation it was time to move beyond politics.
“The time for putting party first is over,” Obama wrote on his Twitter account. “If you want to see bipartisan #compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet.”
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was one of the targets of the attack. He sent a reply via twitter:
“@BarackObama thinks this is all about him, but it’s not,” the senator’s tweet read.
Sessions then referred his followers to video of a speech he delivered earlier today in the Senate chamber:
This is about America, and what’s good for this country,” Sessions said. “It’s not about the president. It’s not about politics.”
Many Twitter users have expressed disgust that @barackobama would do something so partisan just a few hours after delivering a statement calling for bipartisanship.
Moody’s Investors Service said today it expects the U.S. will get to keep its Aaa credit rating, “albeit with a shift to a negative outlook,” provided Congress and the White House can work out a deal to avoid missing payments to U.S. bondholders.
Moody’s launched a review of the U.S. credit rating on July 13, as the fight over how to raise the current $14.3 trillion federal borrowing limit was starting to heat up. Moody’s review will finish when the debt limit is extended “for more than a short period of time,” the company said. That line gives some ammunition to Democrats and President Barack Obama, who have said any debt deal should lift the borrowing cap through the end of 2012.
Advantage: Obama and Reid. The silver lining for Republicans is that Moody’s also said it only cares about payments related to the debt service when assessing “default.” Since Treasury will have plenty of revenue to cover that, default isn’t happening.
Update: Boehner’s unloading on President Present in his floor speech. “Put something on the table! Tell us where you are!”
Update: They’ve got until Monday to hammer out a deal, right? Wrong. According to The Hill, for procedural reasons the real deadline is … tomorrow.
A visualization of the US debt, here.
The House just passed the Boehner debt bill 218 to 210. Reid and the Senate up next. http://mrkt.ms/nokV23
Speaking of which…Paul Ryan trashed Reid’s proposal on the House floor, today: