The bipartisan debt limit proposal called the only one “that is going to ever pass” is increasingly likely not to, as the deadline to reach a deal rapidly approaches.
While the framework introduced by the Senate “Gang of Six” has gained the support of much of the chamber, liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans are up in arms about many of its proposals.
House Democrats are rallying against the cuts to Medicare and Social Security, while the GOP is nowhere near accepting the plan’s $1 trillion in new revenues.
Even the White House stopped short of embracing the plan, first saying President Barack Obama hadn’t had a chance to read it, then noting there were elements within it he was not comfortable with.
Ultimately Democrats and the White House would get behind a plan they knew could pass and could avoid default. House Republicans, on the other hand, have shown few signs of a willingness to compromise — despite Democratic concessions on entitlement reform that would normally make a GOP lawmaker salivate.
Indeed at this stage in the negotiations, there is little time to for Obama and the Senate to get distracted by plans that can’t pass the hardliner-controlled House.
In the 11 days left before the August 2 deadline, lawmakers must reach a deal, have it “scored” by the Congressional Budget Office, and pass it in time to prevent the government from failing to make good on its obligations.
The GOP rank-and-file and their “default caucus” appear to believe that the consequences of failing to raise the debt limit will not be serious — so why would they accept the Gang of Six deal?
As POLITICO’s Ben White puts it: “If common sense, polling data, pressure from Senate elders, exhortations from business lobbyists and the lessons of history have not budged House Republicans off their hard line, what will?”
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