The Senate will take up, and vote down, House Speaker John Boehner’s bill to raise the federal debt ceiling immediately after its anticipated House passage Thursday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said.
“As soon as the House completes its vote tonight, the Senate will move to take up that bill. It will be defeated,” Reid said, citing a letter sent last night to Boehner in which all 53 Democratic Caucus members vowed to vote against the measure if it passes. “No Democrat will vote for a short-term Band-Aid that would put our economy at risk and put the nation back in this untenable situation a few short months from now.”
Boehner was still working to round up votes Thursday. But both parties now expect his measure to narrowly pass over Democratic opposition.
Reid has two options: He could “table” the proposal, postponing its consideration indefinitely, or bring it up for a vote, which would kill the bill directly. The advantage of tabling is that it’s faster. Under the byzantine rules of the Senate, the Majority Leader would have to wait about two days before being able to bring the House bill up for a vote, whereas tabling the bill could take just a day and a half. The disadvantage of tabling is that Republicans will insist that Boehner’s proposal had a chance in the Senate, and that Reid was simply afraid that it would pass. But with the Aug. 2 approaching, Democratic aides think tabling is more likely.
Once Reid kills the bill, there are two new paths he could take: He could bring his own plan up for a vote or he could try to come up with a compromise plan with Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Since Dingy Harry’s bill has NO chance of passing in the House, the deal making will begin.
But, of course, there will be plenty of blaming the other side and at the last minute there will be a deal or the August 2nd deadline passes which will probably prove to be a non-event.