Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Best-Laid Plans…

It looks as if getting the Democrats and the president to go along with his plan is the least of the worries for House Speaker John Boehner.

House Republicans delayed a vote on Boehner’s bill, which had been set for Wednesday, after congressional budget analysts dealt the legislation a potentially devastating setback by saying it would save far less over the next decade than the $1.2 trillion advertised. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the spending cuts would save only about $850 billion over that period.

The news from the CBO alarmed conservatives, who were already balking at what they considered timid spending reductions. It also meant Boehner’s bill would not meet his own demand that the cuts exceed the size of the $900 billion debt-limit increase.

House Republicans were racing Tuesday night to rewrite portions of the measure to bring the numbers into line. The vote could now come Thursday.

As Boehner (R-Ohio) pressed toward a cliffhanger vote in the House, President Obama signaled that would veto the measure because it would force another battle over the debt limit early next year. Meanwhile, Reid (D-Nev.) pronounced the proposal “dead on arrival” in the Senate, where Democrats were struggling to rally votes for their own plan to raise the debt limit by $2.7 trillion — enough additional borrowing authority to cover the nation’s bills into 2013.

Meanwhile, Josh Marshall is reporting that Wall Street is bringing to bear some of its considerable influence on Capitol Hill to get something done, even if it isn’t exactly what the Republicans want. In short, they’ve had enough of this silliness and they don’t want these antics to threaten their livelihood. It’s not because it’s good for the country or that they are suddenly in love with President Obama. A default could be bad for their bottom line, and that’s what really matters to them.