The next step in Congress' perilous debt dance is complete: The House has pre-emptively rejected Sen. Harry Reid's plan in its current form. The vote came after a lengthy and acrimonimous debate, during which Nancy Pelosi compared Speaker Boehner to Darth Vader, baselessly claimed Boehner's bill "eliminates Medicare," and asserted that Republicans are destroying "the air our children breathe." The symbolic vote to reject Reid's plan was 246-173, with 11 Democrats joining Republicans in opposition.
Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell will hold a press conference at 3:30pm ET to address the state of play and call attention to Democrats' inaction. Reid continues to prevent an immediate vote on his own legislation because he does not have the 60 votes he needs to advance it. At least 43 Republicans and one Democrat have said they'll block it.
Reid's bill, as it's written, is full of phony, gimmicky spending "cuts," imposes real and damaging cuts on the military, and includes an absurd provision that allows Democrats to "deem" the next two years' budgets as passed. Senate Democrats have not offered an actual budget in 822 days. This proposal is unacceptable, and the House delivered that message emphatically with this afternoon's vote. Up next: A Senate cloture vote on Reid 1.0 in the Senate late tonight. When it fails, negotiations will resume on Reid 2.0
UPDATE - Paul Ryan mocks Democrats' definition of "savings" by proposing a bold moon-yogurt-covering initiative: