House Passes Debt Deal; Senate to Vote Next
- Latest from AP
- Pelosi urges Dems to back debt plan as crisis looms (SF Chronicle)
- House Passes Bill on Debt Ceiling (NY Times)
The House has passed legislation designed to keep the government from defaulting on its debts. The measure also sets a course for reducing the federal deficit in the future.
The Senate, where support is stronger, is expected to take up the bill on Tuesday, the deadline for Congress to act before the government loses its ability to pay all its bills.
The 269-161 vote in the House came after Republican leaders spent the day urging recalcitrant conservatives to support the bill.
The bill would raise the debt ceiling by more than $2 trillion and cut federal spending by a similar amount over the next decade. A special congressional committee would be set up to consider entitlement and tax changes.
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What’s in the Bill?
- The Fine Print on the Debt Deal (Nate Silver, NY Times)
- Debt ceiling deal in one flow-chart (Ezra Klein, Washington Post)
- Full text of the bill
Selected analysis and opinion
- Can leaders find enough votes? (PBS NewsHour)
If members of Congress from both parties and in both chambers follow their leaders, the United States is all but assured of avoiding default thanks to a last-minute agreement reached with President Obama on Sunday
- Bipartisan deal, bipartisan opposition (AP)
The newly struck debt-ceiling compromise between President Barack Obama and the Republican leaders of Congress represents a historic accomplishment of divided government, with all the disappointment that implies for the most ardent partisans inside the two major parties and out.
- Debt deal complicates liberals’ support (Politico)
President Barack Obama’s road to debt ceiling compromise runs right through the left wing of the Democratic Party. Much of the focus Sunday centered on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who must wrestle conservatives into line to pass the deal before Tuesday’s default deadline. Yet team Obama quickly found out it is confronting an equally daunting sales jobs with a Democratic base embittered by compromise, ditched policy priorities and what many liberals view as an endless series of Obama capitulations. “If I were a Republican, this is a night to party,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, told MSNBC Sunday night.
- Will Proposed Debt Deal Cost Obama A Second Term? (Forbes)
If you look at the work of Yale economist, Ray C. Fair, it is pretty clear that anything that reduced economic growth in the nine months preceding the election is going to hurt politically…It is pretty clear that the government has run out of ideas for how to boost economic growth. But one thing that is certain to cut economic growth is a reduction in the amount of money that gets spent in the U.S. And the proposed debt deal reduces that spending by at least $2 trillion.
- Wake up GOP: Smashing system doesn’t fix it (David Frum, CNN)
Let’s hope that as America steps back from the brink, Republicans remember that it’s their job to protect the system, not to smash the system in hopes of building something better from the ruins. That’s how student radicals think — not conservatives.
- The president Surrenders (Paul Krugman, NY Times)
For the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.
- The Diminished President (Ross Douthat, NY Times)
(T)he he president’s approval ratings have been sinking steadily for weeks, hitting a George W. Bush-esque low of 40 percent in a recent Gallup survey. The voters incline toward Obama on the issues, still like him personally and consider the Republican opposition too extreme. But they are increasingly judging his presidency a failure anyway.
- Did Obama capitulate — or is this a cagey move? (Peter Wallsten and David Nakamura, Washington Post)
(F)or a White House eager to improve its standing with centrist independents who have been fleeing Obama, even a losing deal can be a winning strategy. Most important for the president, the agreement struck Sunday averted a government default — an outcome that probably would have hurt the U.S. economy and added to voters’ frustrations with Obama’s leadership.
- The myth of Obama’s “blunders” and “weakness” (Glenn Greenwald, Salon)
Obama’s so-called “bad negotiating” or “weakness” is actually “shrewd negotiation” because he’s getting what he actually wants (which, shockingly, is not always the same as what he publicly says he wants). In this case, what he wants — and has long wanted, as he’s said repeatedly in public — are drastic spending cuts. In other words, he’s willing — eager — to impose the “pain” Cohn describes on those who can least afford to bear it so that he can run for re-election as a compromise-brokering, trans-partisan deficit cutter willing to “take considerable heat from his own party.”
- Obama Defuses Default Bomb As Tea Party Changes Re-Election Landscape (It’s All Politics, NPR)
Maybe Obama could get re-elected with a default under his belt. But it certainly would’ve increased the already considerable challenges facing him because of high unemployment, housing foreclosures and other spurs to economic anxiety.
- Democrats seem to end up on the short end of the deal (Washington Post)
(F)or weeks and months Republicans have warned Democrats they would only accept a deal that cut spending without raising taxes. And the deal that faces a final congressional vote Monday does exactly that. The deal includes $1 trillion in cuts over 10 years… (A)lthough the deal guarantees government will be shrunk, it merely leaves open the possibility of the kind of tax hikes on the wealthy that Democrats have demanded.
- Debt Deal Puts Off Hard Choices for Now (US News & World Report)
(W)hile Democrats and Republicans cheered their agreement, they seemed to disagree about what was in it. President Obama said the second wave of debt cuts could include revenue-boosting tax reform. “At this stage, everything will be on the table,” Obama said. But House Speaker John Boehner insisted that tax increases were not, in fact, on the table. “It’s all spending cuts,” Boehner told Republican lawmakers in a conference call Sunday night. “The White House bid to raise taxes has been shut down.” The discrepancy has to do with how the Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of legislation, which can sometimes turn a tax cut into a tax hike, at least on paper. The GOP said the deal will use current law as a baseline to estimate how much the legislation cuts the deficit–and the current law includes the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2012. If the committee makes any changes to the income tax code, it’ll also likely have to resolve the expiring Bush tax cuts. So a small tax increase would count as a deficit-busting tax cut, because it would cancel the tax hike scheduled to go into effect at the end of 2012, or so Boehner’s office argued.