As expected, the Senate killed the Cut, Cap and Balance Bill, with the votes falling along party lines, 51 to 46 today. So the big hope of conservatives has been dashed, leaving Republicans without a plan once again.
Meanwhile, President Obama reiterated his commitment to raising the debt ceiling at a town hall meeting at the University of Maryland, and Rep. John Boehner denied reports he’s nearing a deal with the president.
A deal may be closer than Boehner is indicating, according to Sen. Harry Reid. Reid decided to cut the Senate loose this weekend, even though they were expected to stay in town to work through it. According to Reid, the White House doesn’t need Senate Democrats involved:
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Friday morning that the Senate will not be in session this weekend, a shift from his announcement earlier this week that the chamber would meet “every day, including Saturdays and Sundays,” until a deal to raise the country’s debt ceiling is passed. …
Reid said that President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) “have been working diligently together” toward a debt deal.. The proposal currently under discussion “would address, as I understand, both taxes and spending,” Reid said.
Without a plan on the horizon, Republicans may be forced to accept some sort of short-term agreement. And that idea looks better and better as the deadline ticks closer. At least an extension would buy more time to hash out the details of a plan House Republicans and the White House may be working toward.