The Democratic Senate has voted to table Cut, Cap and Balance, meaning democrats have killed the second plan given to them by the House of Representatives to reduce spending and get the deficit under control. From the National Journal:
The Senate voted 51 to 46 on Friday to kill the House-passed "cut, cap and balance" bill, clearing the way for Congress to consider another measure to raise the federal debt ceiling with negotiations at a critical point before the Aug. 2 deadline.
It remains to be seen if the alternative will be the so-called grand bargain being discussed between the White House and House Republicans, or a fall back, like the plan from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to give President Obama the power to raise the ceiling by $2.5 trillion in three steps.
House Republicans had publicly touted the "cut, cap and balance" bill as their solution on how to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and GOP leaders hope its defeat will make it easier for rank-and-file Republicans to accept an alternative deal.
The bill would have required slashing spending by more than $100 billion in FY12 and eventually capping federal spending at about 20 percent of GDP. It required Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.
Late last night on Twitter, Republican Senator Marco Rubio hoped that if Democrats decided not to support the latest House plan, that they would be prepared to offer an alternative. So where is it Harry Reid? It's day 815 since Senate Democrats passed a budget, which they are obligated by law to do. There are 11 days left before we reach the debt ceiling deadline on Aug. 2. Tick, tock.
House Speaker John Boehner has released a statement:
“Senate Democrats have defied the will of the American people who overwhelmingly support real spending cuts, caps on future spending, and a balanced budget to create a better environment for private-sector job growth. Republicans are standing with the American people and, as I’ve said before, will not pass a bill that fails to cut spending by more than it increases the debt limit, restrain future spending, or that raises taxes on families and job creators. To help avoid a default, I urge the Senate to rethink their decision and immediately approve the responsible, balanced, House-passed ‘Cut, Cap, & Balance’ proposal.”
In the meantime, President Obama will make another speech today in a town hall style format at the University of Maryland to "explain" the debt crisis. However, Obama won't discuss a detailed plan during the town hall because he simply doesn't have one. Most likely, this will be another campaign stop rather than a serious discussion about the crisis and chaos in Washington.
UPDATE (via Guy Benson) - As I reported last night, Republicans were expecting this legislative outcome. What they may not have expected was Harry Reid's head-turning decision to declare the Senate closed for business until Monday -- immediately after killing CCB. As recently as yesterday, Reid was slamming the House (you know, the chamber that has produced two specific legislative solutions to the crisis) over adjourning for the weekend with a pressing debt deadline looming. Now that he's dispensed with the only actual plan on the table -- which he called a "waste" of time -- Reid has proceeded to...the weekend. No additional business. No introduction of an alternative plan. Just the weekend. Again, this was yesterday:
Bravo on a hard day's work, Harry. Your "leadership" is exquisitely horrific. So, again, the country waits and the markets hold their collective breath. If you're looking for them, Senate Democrats will be at the pool. As Katie says, tick, tock...