Harry Reid Filibustering His Own Bill?; Update: House to Vote on Reid Plan, 43 GOP Senators Oppose; Update: House Rejects Reid Plan by Over 70 Votes

Written on:July 30, 2011
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Harry Reid Filibustering His Own Bill?; Update: House to Vote on Reid Plan, 43 GOP Senators Oppose; Update: House Rejects Reid Plan by Over 70 Votes

That’s sure what it looks like, via the Washington Examiner:

Senate Republicans want a 60-vote threshold for a debt-limit bill to pass the chamber, but it’s actually Democrats who are enforcing the filibuster on their own legislation, insisting on delaying a vote until 1 a.m. Sunday morning.

Republicans offered to let the vote happen Friday night, just minutes after the chamber voted to halt a House Republican bill. All sides expect Democrats’ bill will fail too, and the GOP said senators might as well kill both at the same time so that negotiations could move on to a compromise.

“We would be happy to have that vote tonight,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republicans’ leader, offered.

But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid objected, even though the vote would occur on his own bill. He instead said the chamber would have to run out the full procedural clock, which means a vote in the early hours Sunday morning.

Remind me again.  Leaving the merits of the bills aside, how is it that the House, which has now passed two bills to raise the debt ceiling, the obstructionist chamber when the Senate has yet to pass one, and Dingy Harry won’t even allow a vote on his own bill?   Maybe they should vote on the “post-partisan” President’s plan instead.  Oh wait, he doesn’t have one.

Update: Even though it hasn’t passed the Senate, the House is debating the Reid bill now and is expected to vote on it shortly.  On a related note, 43 Senate Republicans have signed a letter opposing the Reid plan, via John McCormack of the Weekly Standard:

Harry Reid doesn’t have the votes to get his debt limit bill through the Senate. Forty-three Republican senators write in a letter:

Dear Leader Reid:

We are writing to let you know that we will not vote for your $2.4 trillion debt limit amendment which, if enacted, would result in the single largest debt ceiling increase in the history of the United States. In addition to this unprecedented increase in borrowing authority, your amendment completely fails to address our current fiscal imbalance and lacks any serious effort to ensure that any subsequent spending cuts are enacted.

The plan you have proposed would not alter the spending trajectory that is putting our economy and national security at risk. In return for an unprecedented $2.4 trillion debt limit increase, your amendment reduces spending by less than $1 trillion over the next decade. Setting aside the $200 billion shortfall between the CBO scored savings and the $2.4 trillion debt limit increase, identified by the Congressional Budget Office, most of the proposal’s alleged savings are based on a false claim of credit for reductions in war-related spending that were already scheduled to occur. This amendment proposes no change to our military posture and, for that reason, these savings are the sort of widely ridiculed accounting gimmick that breeds cynicism about our ability to tackle our fiscal challenges. The only possible justification for a $2.4 trillion increase in borrowing authority is to allow the President to avoid any accountability for these issues before his 2012 election. It is by constantly putting off these tough decisions that we have found ourselves with a national debt nearly equal to the size of our gross domestic product. The time for action is now, we cannot wait until we accumulate another $2.4 trillion in debt.

For all of these reasons, we must oppose your unprecedented $2.4 trillion debt limit amendment. Given the nation’s enormous future spending challenges, it would be irresponsible to give the President this unprecedented additional borrowing authority without requiring the enactment of significant spending reductions and reforms. We urge you to abandon this reckless proposal and instead pursue a more responsible course of action that would rein in spending, reassure the financial markets, and help promote private sector job growth.

The four GOP senators who didn’t sign the letter are Scott Brown (Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Susan Collins (Maine), and Olympia Snowe (Maine).

No surprise that Harry Reid’s good friend, Lisa Murkowski didn’t sign. Alaskans must be proud of their Senator.

Update II: In a bipartisan vote, the House just overwhelmingly shot down Dingy Harry’s plan. The initial tally was 246 – 173, with 11 Democrats voting no.  Exit Question: Can we now expect Obama, who has yet to come up with a plan, to accuse Senate Democrats of wasting “precious days trying to pass a plan that a majority of Republicans and Democrats” in the House have just indicated they wouldn’t vote for?

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