The House of Representatives passed a bill to raise the debt limit and lower the deficit Monday night by a margin of 269-161.The bill will cut $917 billion from the federal deficit immediately through discretionary spending caps. Additionally, it authorizes the creation of a bipartisan fiscal committee which will report an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts by November 23.
If the “Super Committee’s” recommendations are not acted on by Congress by the end of the year, mandatory spending cuts will take effect across the federal budget.
The bill also calls on Congress to vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution — which is certain to fail to reach the required two-thirds majority in both chambers.
The Senate will take up the same bill tomorrow at noon, where it is expected to pass.
8:46pm | The House will adjourn tomorrow for August recess.
No votes are expected until September 7th. In the meantime, 4,000 FAA workers remain furloughed and hundreds of construction projects are halted. Congress also failed to act on several job creation bills pushed by both parties.
7:41pm | Giffords statement.
From her office:
“I had to be here for this vote,” she said. “I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy.”
7:37pm | DeMint won’t target GOP yes votes.
According to POLITICO, tea party Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) says he will not target GOP yes votes on raising the debt limit with primary challenges.
7:34pm | Nancy Pelosi on Rep. Gifford’s return.
“It was one of the most thrilling moments for all of us to see this real heroine return to the House.”
7:10pm | Rep. Gabby Giffords, the victim of an assassination attempt in January, is back on the House floor, waving and smiling to colleagues.
She voted in favour of the increase.
7:08pm | The Final Tally:
6:59pm | 6:00 remaining:
She voted yes.
6:54pm | With 10:30 left:
6:52pm | With 13:00 left:
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called together top officials from U.S. business groups Monday for a last minute rally to get the debt ceiling bill passed.
An executive familiar with the meeting described it as “rah rah for getting the debt ceiling done.”
6:29pm | Call of the House.
The House is calling members to the floor. The vote will begin in about 12 minutes.
6:28pm | White House statement on the debt deal legislation:
The Administration strongly supports enactment of the Budget Control Act of 2011. It is imperative that the United States not default on the Nation’s obligations, that the full faith and credit of the United States be preserved, and that the Nation’s fiscal house be put in order. The bill would increase the debt ceiling to a level that will be sufficient for the Nation to meet its obligations through the beginning of 2013, while providing both a significant down payment on deficit reduction and a means to reduce the deficit further through a balanced approach that allows both for cutting spending and for addressing revenues by eliminating tax subsidies or through comprehensive tax reform. If the bill were presented to the President, he would sign it.
6:25pm | Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be the representative person to speak on the bill before the vote:
“Both parties got us into this mess. Both parties will have to work together to get us out of it.”
6:24pm | Rep. Hensarling on the floor:
The Chairman of the Republican Conference: The American people aren’t looking for a balanced approach, they’re looking for a balanced budget.
6:22pm | The margin on this vote may well be bigger than expected.
As many as 300 representatives may back the bill — especially after Pelosi’s wee-received speech. (She got a round of applause from the Democratic side of the aisle.)
Pelosi: “It is hard to believe we are putting our best foot forward with the legislation that comes before us today.”
Pelosi: “I’m not happy with it, but am proud of some of the accomplishments contained in it.”
Pelosi says this delay has led to uncertainty that has impacted American families
Pelosi: “I urge my colleagues to think of seniors” and support the bill
5:47pm | House will adjourn for August recess after the debt vote.
The House will adjourn for it’s five week August recess after tonight’s debt vote, meaning the partial FAA shutdown will continue. 4,000 employees will remained furloughed, and hundreds of construction projects will remain unfunded until Congress returns in September.
5:34pm | House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer will back the debt deal.
“I am voting for this bill. Not because I like this bill.”
“We’re here because we missed an opportunity to pass a truly balanced bill.”
Hoyer: “We need to vote not as Republicans or Democrats — but as Americans.”
5:30pm | With the support of the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, it appears that tonight’s vote will pass by a substantial margin.
Most Democrats will likely vote against the bill, but most Republicans appear to be ready to support it.
4:34pm | Obama willing to invoke 14th amendment if all else failed.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) tells The Huffington Post that Biden told House Democrats, that if all else had failed, Obama was willing to invoke the 14th
4:25pm | House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she “is “absolutely voting for” the debt deal.
She said it probably is a satan sandwich “with satan fries on the side,” but she’s voting for it.
4:16pm | House progressives oppose debt deal.
At a Capitol Hill press conference the House Progressive Caucus said most will vote against the bill today.
3:59pm | Bowles & Simpson weigh in.
“In order to produce a plan that is big and bold enough to address the problem the committee will have to go above and beyond the minimum goals prescribed for it by tackling all parts of the budget. The committee should produce recommendations that make social security permanently solvent, slow the growth of health care spending, and enact pro-growth tax reform which would clean up the code and make the system more efficient while also reducing the deficit.”
3:39pm | Boehner press conference:
Boehner says the current deal meets the GOP “standards” to raise the debt limit.
Cantor trumpets the lack of tax hikes in the bill
Cantor says “the big win for us and the American people is that there are no tax hikes in this bill”
Rep. Paul Ryan claims victory for House Republicans.
Ryan predicts “a majority of Republicans will support this”
Boehner says “all leaders have the responsibility to bring the sufficient number of votes”
Boehner on the Super Committee: “We have not made any decisions, but I’m sure that we’ll continue to have conversations about our appointees to the committee.”
Boehner: “I’ve got a big job to do here. Those running for president have their own aspirations.”
3:24pm | Boehner tells ABC News he has the votes:
“Speaker Boehner tells Diane Sawyer he’s got the votes…”
The quote, via @RickKlein: “We got there – but we’ve got to get the bill passed. And I think we will.”
3:22pm | Protesters in the House gallery.
They apparently chanted: “Boehner, get off it, it’s time to tax corporate profits”
Another one: “Hey, Boehner Get A Clue, It’s About Revenue”
2:53pm | Opposition mounting?
The Congressional Progressive Caucus will hold a 4pm news conference on the debt deal. Yesterday, Chairman Rep. Raúl Grijalva put out a scathing critique of the bill.
Pelosi needs to bring at least 60-70 Democrats on board for this bill to have a chance of passing.
2:30pm | Biden speaks.
Biden: “We have to get [the debt ceiling] out of the way to get back to growing the economy.”
Biden repeatedly used the phrase “if it passes.” But he said “I feel confident that this will pass.”
Biden: “This bargain does not prevent us from being able to continue to fund those initiatives within our budget that are the job creators.”
2:26pm | Pelosi tells reporters: “”The Vice President was quite magnificent” in the Democratic caucus meeting.
She still has not publicly endorsed the debt deal.
Asked if it can it pass, she replied: “You have to ask the Speaker. He has the majority.”
2:19pm | Boehner to reporters after the GOP caucus meeting: “I’m doing great!”
Note last Thursday (the day his plan nearly failed a House vote) he said he was having a “Zippitydoodah-day.”
2:16pm | The House Democratic press conference has been canceled, and the GOP one has been postponed.
Both House caucus meetings ran overtime as both Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seek to build support for the debt deal.
Cantor Spokesman Brad Dayspring says the GOP delay is do to House votes, but there are reports that the leaders are having difficulty getting the required 216 votes.
1:53pm | House Rules committee allows for one hour of debate on debt deal.
Vote still not scheduled.
1:44pm | Cantor pushes back on revenue.
Spokesman Brian Patrick e-mails:
“At a press conference this afternoon, Senator Reid claimed that Leader Cantor said revenue could be a part of the joint committee. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Leader Cantor has said since the beginning of this debate, House Republicans will not agree to tax increases. Period. Senator Reid’s claim is absolutely FALSE.”
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) tweets: “I intend to thoroughly understand the bill before I vote.”
1:20pm | Rules Committee sets debt deal for House vote today.
From spokeswoman Jo Maney: Rules has passed the rule providing for consideration of the updated Budget Control Act by voice vote. Floor action expected by afternoon.
1:07pm | Reid says House will vote tonight, Senate will try to vote tonight as well.
“We hope to get the bill from the House tonight… I’m hopeful we can get this leg done very quickly.”
Reid asked if we need more comprehensive deficit reduction: “The answer is not only yes, but HELL YES.”
Reid: “I never count my votes until they’re cast”
1:02pm | More yes votes.
Support for the debt limit bill is building in both houses of Congress
The Hill is keeping a running “whip count” of how members of congress say they will vote.
1:01pm | Boehner’s sigh of relief.
Video from NBC News:
He said he is a firm yes vote on the deal.
12:53pm | MSNBC is reporting the House will gavel out of session as soon as it passes the debt deal, and begin its August recess.
That would mean the FAA partial shutdown will continue — and in the remote chance that if changes need to be made to the bill once it reaches the Senate, the House will not be nearby.
12:24pm | More from Press Secretary Jay Carney:
He claims Medicare recipients won’t be hurt – although triggers could cut payments to Medicare providers.
Carney: “We will not have a situation where people will hold the economy hostage” by failing to raise debt limit — “at least until 2013”
12:18pm | House Rules Committee to meet at 1:10PM.
Key step to moving debt deal to the House floor today.
11:54am | White House press briefing:
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “You may notice that the cloud of uncertainty is lifting up off our economy — or almost”
Carney says Biden will tell Democrats that the deal “is a victory for the American people.”
He highlights that it protects things like Pell Grants.
Carney is pushing for a “balanced” agreement to be reached by the “Super Committee.” He says the White House is confident such an agreement could be reached — because of how close the White House and Speaker of the House John Boehner were to reaching a deal to raise the debt limit including revenues.
Carney defends the triggers, saying they are supposed to be painful to both sides: “The legislation has an enforcement mechanism, a trigger to create huge incentives for congress not to pull them.” “It is equally onerous for both sides, forces committee to come to agreements that bear fruit.”
Carney: “We unnecessarily sent a message across the country and across the globe that America might default on its obligations.”
Carney says Obama will “push very strongly” for extending the payroll tax holiday.
Carney says the deal is a signal to the financial markets that Washington is “getting its act together.”
White House refuses to say how it expects the credit rating agencies to react to the deal.
Asked where the revenues are, Carney replied: “We couldn’t get that done.”
Carney says that “done well, done wisely” deficit reduction can help the economy
11:39am | DeMint threatens primary challenges.
The Hill reports that tea party Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has threatened moderate Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Dick Lugar (R-IA), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) with primary challenges if they back the compromise debt plan. Lugar and Hatch face serious tea party challengers.
Update: Business Insider has now confirmed this independently with a GOP aide.
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the compromise plan will cut “at least $2.1 trillion” from the federal deficit over 10 years, while raising the debt limit between $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion.
At least $21 billion would be cut from the fiscal year 2012 budget under the plan.
It’s worth noting these “cuts” come from agreements to cap spending over the next 10 years — not specific plans to reduce expenditures.
We’re still waiting for the final CBO report.
10:56am | Heritage Action for America will “key-vote” the debt limit deal.
The conservative group is opposing the bill and will count support for the bill against members of Congress in their official vote records.
10:37am | Reid says debt deal vote will occur “hopefully during today’s session.“
Reid says deal is sign that Washington is not broken. He adds the Founding Fathers designed legislature setting up conflict.
“I’m not proud of the conflict we’ve had these past many months, but I’m satisfied we reached an agreement.”
Reid: Deal “remarkable.” “This is a great stride forward.” Shows what we can achieve “not in spite of divided gov’t but because of it”
Chairman of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling replied on CBB earlier saying:
“Well, that’s wrong, and wrong, and then, I think, wrong. It was the president who stood firm, who didn’t blink on that, and in the end, we have a deal that takes that threat of default off of our political system, off of our economy, into 2013.”
10:25am | Romney’s opposition makes it harder to get GOP votes.
House Republicans need every vote they can get to make sure this deal passes. The opposition from Romney — largely considered a fiscal moderate and the party’s front runner to unseat President Barack Obama — makes that job MUCH harder.
10:22am | Romney opposes debt deal.
Here’s the full Romney statement opposing the debt deal:
“As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced – not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defence cuts on the table. President Obama’s leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama’s lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal.”
9:40am | Where’s Mitt Romney?
The GOP candidate is taking flak from The Daily Caller for staying silent during the debt limit negotiations.
The even put his face on a milk carton.
9:36am | Selling it to the caucuses.
House Republicans will meet at 12:30pm and Democrats at noon to discuss the debt deal.
Senate Republicans will meet at 10am, and Democrats at 11am to do the same.
Vice President Joe Biden will attend both Democratic meetings.
8:52am | Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer on Bloomberg.
Republicans going to have to offer a “very substantial number of votes… well over a majority of their people” to get it passed.
8:39am | Senate and House votes expected today.
The Senate will convene at 10:30 and the House will convent at 10:00 am.
Both will hold Democratic and Republican caucus meetings before scheduling debate and votes, though it is expected that the Senate will vote first, followed by the House.
8:21am | Disapproval.
The bill uses the McConnell “disapproval” method to raise the debt limit — where President Obama will be able to raise the debt limit as long as Congress does not oppose it by a two-thirds vote.
7:53am | “Triggers”
As we mentioned last night, the basic enforcement method for getting Republicans and Democrats to agree to the findings of the “Super Committee” are mandatory spending cuts.
For Republicans, that means cuts to defence spending; and for Democrats, that means entitlement cuts.
7:48am | What’s in the debt deal:
- Drops $6.5 billion Senate plan to auction off certain TV frequencies to wireless/mobile phone companies.
- Also cuts Senate plan to reallocate “D Block” frequencies for a new national first responder network.
- Elimination of $11 billion in direct cuts to farmers from the Senate plan.
- Eliminates subsidized federal Stafford loans for graduate and professional school students.
- Increases Pell grants for college students.
- Does not include any language to solve the partial shutdown at the FAA.
7:16am | Raising taxes still possible.
White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe tells NBC news that the “Super Committee” created by the compromise agreement is authorised to raise taxes.
Speaker of the House John Boehner said that was not the case last night. Expect more on this debate today.
7:11am | “White House “confident“
White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe tells ABC News: “We’re confident this deal will and should pass.”
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