Boehner Introduces Revised Debt Ceiling Plan, Senate Democrats Pledge To Vote Against It

Boehner, Reid

Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

The Boehner plan is delayed, the Reid plan is waiting on the Boehner plan, and the White House isn’t sure it has a plan.Read Wednesday’s debt ceiling live-blog below.

9:24pm | That’s it for our live blog tonight. We’ll be back tomorrow morning with the latest..

8:32pm | POLITICO is reporting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Jode Biden remain in conversation to try to push both Democrats and Republicans toward a compromise. [link]

8:06pm | Here’s a quick comparison of the Reid plan and the revised Boehner proposal. Check it out here

7:48pm | Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who was backed by the tea-party, says he would oppose Boehner/Reid plans on CNN. He wouldn’t specify what procedural tools he may/may not use to block them in the Senate. At this stage a filibuster would all but guarantee that any plan won’t pass before August 2nd.

7:37pm | Rep. Paul Ryan on CNBC’s The Kudlow Report claims Reid bill is “full of gimmicks” from war savings. Doesn’t note that without the war savings that the Reid and Boehner plans are nearly identical. (Reid’s plan actually would cut more according to the CBO.)

7:19pm | View the letter from Senate Democrats to Boehner opposing his plan here.

6:29pm | According to Harry Reid’s office, all 51 Democratic Senators and the two independents have signed a letter pledging to oppose the Boehner plan.

6:28pm | Reid is “tweaking” his proposal today to include an addition $200 billion in cuts to make his plan cuts more than the increase in the debt limit to comply with Republican demands.

6:27pm | The key sticking point between the Reid and Boehner plans — as it has been for two days now — is whether the debt limit should be raised in one or two stages.

6:25pm | Boehner’s revised plan only cuts an additional $65 billion over 10 years.

6:05pm | When war savings are added in, the Boehner and Reid bills are about $200 billion apart in savings (with the Reid plan cutting more).

6:04pm | Read the full CBO analysis of the Boehner bill here.

6:00pm | Boehner says his new plan would cut $22 billion from next year’s spending, compared to only $1 billion in his first plan. 

5:58pm | Speaker of the House John Boehner has released his revised plan to raise the debt limit. Boehner says the Congressional Budget Office scored his bill to include $917 billion in cuts — more than the $900 billion debt limit increase he is now including.

5:45pm | Insurance against a U.S. default reached a new high today. Read more at FT.

5:40pm | In a statement Congressional Black Caucus Democrats call for “No Cuts, No Cap, Just Raise” the debt ceiling.
“Let us remove every partisan reason to fight,” the statement reads. “Every rational American understands the need to pay our national debt. It is reckless to play Russian Roulette with our economy and with the solvency of our great nation. Democratic Members of the Congressional Black Caucus support a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling.”

5:04pm | A spokesman for the Treasury Department confirms that in the coming days the government will release its plans for what bills to pay if the debt limit isn’t raise. Read more here.

4:31pm | POLITICO’s Jon Allen is reporting former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott says that, based on congressional procedure, a deal can’t be done to raise the debt limit until Weds. or Thurs. next week.

4:15pm | The Congressional Black Caucus is a “no” vote on the REID plan, according to a spokeswoman. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was heard saying the CBC is a no vote on any bill that does not raise the debt limit in a “clean” vote  in a radio interview earlier today — that is they will vote against any bill including spending cuts.

4:14pm | GOP freshman appear to be sold on the Boehner plan, after a meeting with the Speaker, Dave Weigel reports.

3:47pm | Default is off.

2:52pm | Carney on 14th amendment: “our position hasn’t changed, there are no off-ramps, only congress has the legal authority to raise the debt limit.”.

2:49pm | Carney asked: “Would it help if the markets freaked out a little more?”  Answer: “No.”

2:39pm | Jay Carney just accused Fox News’ Ed Henry of “creating a thing for FOX” after Henry pressed him for Obama’s deficit reduction plan.

2:31pm | Carney won’t say nation will ‘default’ after Aug 2, but we will be ‘running on fumes.’

2:29pm | Carney calls GOP demand for $1-to-$1 cuts to debt limit increase “random”

2:28pm | Carney takes shot at Boehner: “Why are we voting on legislation [in the House] that has no chance of becoming law.”

2:24pm | Carney was quick to say he didn’t mean downgrade isn’t bad. The difference is outside agencies control downgrade, “we can control default.”.

2:21pm | Carney says “a downgrade is a bad thing, default is a catastrophic thing.

2:19pm | Carney says August 2nd deadline is “hard and fast… there is no escaping that,” adding “once we lose our borrowing authority we are at risk of default.”

2:17pm | At midnight on August 2 we don’t all turn into pumpkins, but we do as a nation lose our borrowing authority.

2:16pm | Carney: House Cut, Cap, and Balance plan wasted everyone’s time, just like Boehner plan is doing.

2:14pm | Carney says of Boehner plan: “President Obama hates it, Harry Reid hates it, and Nancy Pelosi hates it.” he adds “This is not a fair compromise that we can come together on.

2:12pm | Carney says this process, by necessity “must result in some sort of compromise”.

2:11pm | Here is Carney .

2:09pm | We’re awaiting White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who is expected to take the podium in a few moments.

2:08pm | Obama is still looking for a $4 trillion balanced plan including revenues, the White House just tweeted, but he considers the Reid plan a “responsible down payment and compromise.

1:33pm | Sen. John McCain criticised tea party Republicans for “foolish” demands in the debt limit debate, ABC News reports.
“To hold out and say we won’t agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the constitution. It’s unfair, it’s bizarre,” McCain railed on the Senate floor, “And maybe some people have only been in this body for six or seven months or so really believe that. Others know better.” Read more here:


1:10pm | In a statement to CNBC, the Treasury Department disputes reports that August 2nd is not the deadline to raise the debt limit.
“Tax receipts were as expected for June and July. The fact remains the U.S. will exhaust borrowing authority on August 2nd…and after that date there is no way to guarantee we will be able to meet all of the nation’s obligations.” Read more here:

1:06pm | On MSNBC just now, Gene Sperling, the chairman of the National Economic Council stood by the August 2nd deadline for raising the debt limit. “We know August 2nd is when we run out of borrowing authority,” he said, adding that the full faith and credit of the United States should not be jeopardized by failing to raise the limit by then.

12:59pm | Tea-partiers are “rallying” in Washington today against the Boehner and Reid plans. Among the attendees are Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) and Rep. Reporters estimated there were only a few dozen non-journalists there.

12:53pm | Here’s The Clip From “The Town” That GOP Leaders Used To Rally Members Behind The Boehner Plan.

12:08pm | In a closed door meeting this morning, GOP leaders “dressed down” Rep. Jim Jordan and other Republicans opposed to the Boehner plan. They also called for the firing of a top staffer at the conservative Republican Study Committee caught coordinating with right-wing groups to kill the Boehner plan. Read more at Roll Call.

12:03pm | Reid: “Every Democratic Senator will vote against the Boehner plan”.

12:03pm | Reid: “don’t let anyone ever think we’re only going to be left with the Boehner plan,” calling it “a big wet kiss to the right wing.”.

12:02pm | Asked when the drop-dead deadline to reach an agreement in order to get a bill to the President’s desk by August 2nd, Reid said it is “soon.

12:01pm | Reid: “We like our bill, we’re going to stick with that until someone comes up with a better bill”.

12:00pm | Reid says “don’t worry [the Boehner plan] will be altered if it gets here”.

11:58am | Schumer: “We cannot allow a small bloc of House Republicans to lead this nation off a cliff.

11:57am | Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY): Boehner’s bill “on life support and it’s time for him to pull the plug”.

11:54am | Durbin to GOP: “Put your pledges aside”.

11:53am | Sen. Dick Durbin says Boehner’s plan “downgraded” by ratings agencies, CBO and more than 100 members of the House GOP caucus.

11:52am | Reid says “tweaking” his bill to hit $2.4-$2.5 trillion in savings is easy.

11:51am | Reid says he feels comfortable with the CBO score.

11:51am | Reid: “We have compromised”.

11:51am | Reid says Speaker Boehner is “struggling to save a Tea Party bill” on the debt limit.

11:50am | Senate Majority Leader Harry says it’s time for House Republicans to face facts.

11:41am | Boehner spokesman Michael Steel emails in response to the Reid plan’s CBO scoring:
“This report shows the Senate plan for what it is: a grab-bag of gimmicks that gives the President a blank check. In contrast to the bill House Republicans have offered, the Senate Democratic bill counts as ‘savings’ a trillion dollars in war money that would never have been spent – and on top of that, slashes the defence budget in a manner that would hurt our men and women in uniform in a time of war.  It relies on smoke and mirrors  for half of its ‘savings,’ yet still cuts $500 billion less than promised.  In reality, the Reid plan would only save taxpayers about $1 trillion while giving the President the largest debt limit increase in history.  Despite previous claims, it significantly falls short of the requirement that we cut more than we increase in the debt limit.”

“For too long Washington has pulled the wool over the eyes of the American people – but those days are over.  We have made a promise to cut spending more than we increase the debt limit, and we are revising our legislation to ensure this pledge is met.  This debate boils down to two choices: we can continue business as usual in Washington, dressing up legislation with gimmicks and giving a blank check to the President; or we can start making some tough choices to bring down the deficit and hold the President accountable. Today’s report makes clear the House plan is the only one with a pathway to the President’s desk, and we would urge him to sign it.”

11:27am | Sen, Dick Durbin (D-IL) told Bloomberg News this morning that he is confident the Reid plan will succeed, but that it isn’t a done deal yet. “I’m not sure that we’re at 60 and we won’t be until we have a bipartisan agreement.”

11:19am | Boehner reportedly told his caucus that if they stand firm the Senate “will fold like a cheap suit.”

11:16am | Boehner told his caucus in a closed-door meeting this morning to “get your arse in line” behind his bill, POLITICO reports.

11:12am | More and more reports point to conservative Republicans backing the revised Boehner proposal. National Journal is keeping a whip-count on the vote here.

10:44am | A tea party leader has called for Speaker of the House John Boehner to resign over his handling of the debt ceiling negotiations. [link].

10:42am | Click here for a quick comparison of the Boehner and Reid plans.

10:42am | “The Boehner plan has disintegrated before our eyes.” Senate Majority Whip Durbin (D-IL) said just now on the Senate floor.

10:40am | Speaker of the House John Boehner said “We’re making progress” after the GOP caucus meeting this morning. He did not stop for questions from the press. He is expected to introduced his revised proposal to raise the debt limit and cut the deficit later today.

10:29am | Larson says Reid plan “would probably pass the House with more than 180 Democratic votes.”

10:25am | Democratic caucus chair Rep. John Larson (D-CT) says House Democrats encourage President Obama to sign an executive order raising the debt limit under the 14th amendment as opposed to signing a short-term extension under the Boehner plan.

10:23am | Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) to Obama : “Sign an executive order invoking the 14 Amendment.”

10:19am | Stocks are down big.

10:10am | ” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics said on Good Morning America today that it wouldn’t be “the end of the world” if the United States’s credit rating is downgraded. He said it would be possible for the U.S. to regain the rating, if lawmakers “do the right thing” and restore fiscal order to Washington.

10:05am | Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaking on Fox News about Speaker Boehner’s debt reduction plan: “This plan saves us six hours of federal spending.”.

10:03am | Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) on CNBC moments ago: “Between now and a day from now, the House should be able to get the votes for Boehner 2.0.

9:49am | McConnell says Boehner plan is “being improved as we speak”

9:47am | Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his support of the Boehner plan on the Senate floor. He than called it “the only plan that can actually reach the president’s desk.

9:40am | Reid quotes former British PM David Lloyd George: “Nothing more dangerous than to leap a chasm in 2 jumps.”

9:38am | Reid says Boehner’s “short-term plan” would not bring any savings. He says  “pushing back vote or rewriting parts of it won’t solve the problem”.

9:37am | Reid says downgrade would cost U.S. government more that $100 billion per year in borrowing costs.

9:37am | Reid says he trusts that Boehner and other “reasonable Republicans” understand the crisis default would cause.

9:36am | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the Senate floor just now: Even if Speaker Boehner can get his debt plan thru House, “I can assure everyone” that it will fail in Senate.

9:25am | Boehner’s office is revising his proposal after yesterday’s disappointing CBO scoring. Expect them to be double checking that their numbers meet or exceed Reid’s savingsay

9:13am | According to the CBO, over $1 trillion of the savings in the Reid plan come form winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans have been critical of including these figures in a deficit reduction proposal, saying they don’t represent new cuts.

9:00am | The Reid plan falls short of the $2.7 trillion advertised because of the switch from the January to March baselines, but still far ahead of Boehner. His plan is about $200 billion short of the GOP demand for 1-to-1 spending cuts to debt limit increase, while Boehner fell $150 billion short for a much shorter extension.

8:55am | CBO says the Reid plan saves $30 billion in 2012 vs $1 billion for the Boehner plan; Reid saves $99b vs $16b for Boehner in 2013.

8:53am | Reid will be holding a press conference at 11:45 today to tout the new CBO score.

8:48am | For reference, the Boehner plan had only $850 billion in immediate cuts to the deficit using the more unfavorable March baseline. The Reid $2.2 trillion figure is scored on that baseline as well.

8:45am | The Congressional Budget Office has scored Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to raise the debt limit, finding it lowers the deficit by $2.2 trillion over 10 years.
Read the full CBO report on the Reid bill here:

8:30am | In a plea to House Republicans to fall in behind the Boehner proposal, GOP Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-MD) invoked the movie “The Town” yesterday, Bloomberg reports.
“I can’t tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we’re gonna hurt some people,” the robber says in the scene McCarthy showed to his caucus. His compatriot simply responds, “Whose car we takin’?”

8:16am | In case you missed it: The Boehner plan is being revised today after an unfavorable “score” from the Congressional Budget Office.
This represents a major setback for the talks — but not for the reason you might think.

8:00am | On the agenda today:

  • GOP conference meeting at 9 a.m. to shore up support for the new Boehner plan.
  • Democrats hold a press conference at 10 a.m. the effects of the debt talks on poor communities.
  • Also at 10 a.m., House Democratic caucus leaders will talk to reporters about the debt ceiling.
  • Yet another event beginning at 10 a.m.: executives from S&P and Moody’s will testify before the House Financial Services Oversight committee.
  • The Senate convenes at 9:30 a.m., and the House at 10 a.m., though neither will consider bills to raise the debt limit today.
  • White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will hold a briefing at 1:30.
  • Expect members of Congress to be flooding the cable outlets today.

7:56am | Good Wednesday morning. It’s D-Day -6 and we still don’t have a deal.

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