As we expected, another part of this debt ceiling farce is over. It doesn't matter if the vote was a straight party-line vote because Republicans want to play to their base. The Senate on Friday rejected a House plan to substantially cut government
July 22, 2011

As we expected, another part of this debt ceiling farce is over. It doesn't matter if the vote was a straight party-line vote because Republicans want to play to their base.

The Senate on Friday rejected a House plan to substantially cut government spending and raise the federal debt limit contingent on a balanced budget proposal, leaving Congress up in the air about how to resolve its impasse over the federal debt ceiling and avoid a government default.

Senators voted 51 to 46 along party lines to set aside the measure, known as the “cut, cap and balance” bill, which was sent to the Senate by the House this week and seen by conservative House members as their preferred option for increasing the debt ceiling. For many House Republicans, the legislation was their best offer in the continuing standoff with President Obama and Congressional Democrats.

Now there's a lot of blathering going on about Boehner and Obama cutting a major deal. I've heard from sources that this is inaccurate and then you hear it in reports that it's on.

John Boehner has denied that he has a deal with Obama:

Now that the House debt plan is dead, lawmakers need to come up with another path for raising the debt limit. And at today's press conference, John Boehner continued his denial that he'd reached a plan with Obama:

But before departing, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), ever sensitive to the needs of his conservative caucus, told reporters, there was "never an agreement," with President Obama to raise the debt limit. "Frankly," he said, "[we're] not close to an agreement."

The Washington Post has reported they are negotiating: Obama, Boehner pursue a deal as Democrats fume

President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner rushed Thursday to strike agreement on a far-reaching plan to reduce the national debt but faced a revolt from Democrats furious that the accord appeared to include no immediate provision to raise taxes.

With 12 days left until the Treasury begins to run short of cash, Obama and Boehner (R-Ohio) were still pursuing the most ambitious plan to restrain the national debt in at least 20 years. Talks focused on sharp cuts in agency spending and politically painful changes to cherished health and retirement programs aimed at saving roughly $3 trillion over the next decade.

More savings would be generated through an overhaul of the tax code that would lower personal and corporate income tax rates while eliminating or reducing an array of popular tax breaks, such as the deduction for home mortgage interest. But the talks envisioned no specific tax increases as part of legislation to lift the debt limit, and the tax rewrite would be postponed until next year.

Democrats reacted with outrage as word filtered to Capitol Hill, saying the emerging agreement appeared to violate their pledge not to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits as well as Obama’s promise not to make deep cuts in programs for the poor without extracting some tax concessions from the rich.

When “we heard these reports of these mega-trillion-dollar cuts with no revenues, it was like Mount Vesuvius. . . . Many of us were volcanic,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.).

White House budget director Jacob J. Lew denied that a deal without taxes was in the works. “We’ve been clear revenues have to be part of any agreement,” he told reporters.

I did hear Obama say that there had to be a balanced approach to a debt-ceiling deal during his Town Hall meeting this morning.

Harry Reid seemed to be upset as well, and had this to say:

After the vote, Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, said the Senate was for the moment abandoning its fallback plan and would not immediately move ahead with a procedural maneuver proposed by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to increase the debt limit. He said the Senate would instead await the results of negotiations between Mr. Obama and the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, over a broad deficit reduction package. “The path to avert default now runs through the House of Representatives,” Mr. Reid said after Democrats voted against the House plan. He said that he was canceling plans to keep the Senate in session over the weekend and that lawmakers would instead reconvene Monday, just more than a week before the Aug. 2 deadline set by the Treasury Department for increasing the $14.3 trillion limit

I'm totally against cuts in our safety net programs -- especially to get a debt ceiling vote done.

Now it's being reported Reid confronted Jack Lew over the Obama/Bohener reports:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confronted White House budget director Jack Lew during a Thursday afternoon meeting about secret talks on a deficit-reduction deal between the president and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“I’m the Senate majority leader — why don’t I know about this deal?” Reid demanded as soon as the budget director walked into the historic Mansfield Room for a meeting with Senate Democrats, according to a lawmaker who witnessed the exchange.

Lew shot back: “If there’s a deal, then the president doesn't know about it, the vice president doesn't know about it and I don’t know about it.” A Senate Democratic aide confirmed the exchange took place.

Democrats were outraged about reports that Obama was willing to accept major spending cuts in exchange for reforming the tax code at some point in the future as part of a deal to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling.

Reid and other Democrats warned the administration officials in the meeting that they might not support a deal between Obama and Boehner if kept out of the loop.

“It was a heated session,” said a senior Democratic senator who attended the lunch. “There’s a basic lack of trust with the president.”

Kabuki rules.

And as predicted, the Villager position on "Shared Sacrifice" is big on working people doing all the sharing and all the sacrificing too.

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