Sen. Harry Reid, pushing ahead with his plan in the Senate, said this morning he’s open to “tweaks” to the bill if it will bring in the Republican support he needs to prevent a potential filibuster:
“I have no pride of authorship,” Reid said on the floor. “If somebody can figure out another way to improve that suggestion I have, I will work with them.”
Speaking in personal terms, Reid said he’s spent his “entire adult life” finding consensus, even at times feeling like a “failure” in his previous career as an attorney.
Referring to his plan, Reid said, “This is likely our last chance to save this nation from default.”
If the top concern for Democrats right now is to avoid having a round two of the debt debate in the middle of a general election, then some serious compromises from their side are crucial. Politico reports Senate Democrats are trying to work out some hybrid between Sen. Mitch McConnell’s plan – which would let Congress skip an election-year debate – and Rep. John Boehner’s:
Under the possible compromise, Congress could still get a second crack at voting on the debt limit within months. But rather than linking the vote to Congress approving the recommendations of a new 12-member committee — as it would be in Boehner’s bill — Democrats prefer McConnell’s proposal that allows President Barack Obama to lift the debt ceiling unless two-thirds of both chambers override his veto of a disapproval resolution, the officials said.
Obviously, if Boehner is having so much trouble getting Republican support for his plan, one coupled with the even less popular McConnell plan would be much harder to sell to the House GOP. But that might not even be necessary if the combo proposal is able to garner enough Democratic support. This might sound crazy – and undesirable to both parties – but if all else fails, it could be the best option left.