Senate Finalizing Deal On Debt Limit   4 comments

While there are still, as far as I can tell, no votes scheduled on any debt limit deal as of yet, word out of Washington is that senators are close to finalizing such a deal, according to Politico:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are finalizing a deal to avert a debt default and reopen the government, capping a frantic day that had Washington bracing for an economic crisis of its own making.

The deal is essentially done, sources say, as aides for the two leaders finish drafting the legislative language Tuesday night.

Reid and McConnell are expected to brief their respective caucuses Wednesday, hours before the country could fail to pay its bills for the first time in history. Cooperation will be needed from members of both parties in order to avoid default as well as to end the first government shutdown in 17 years. And a Senate plan will need to clear the House, which has struggled to pass any bill to raise the national debt limit.

  • Governments agencies would reopen & remain open until Jan. 15th
  • The debt ceiling would be lifted until Feb. 7th
  • the Treasury Dept. would be allowed to use “extraordinary measures” to continue paying the nation’s debt should the debt ceiling not be raised in early Feb.
  • HHS would be required to verify income levels for individuals seeking health insurance through the Health Exchanges

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4 responses to “Senate Finalizing Deal On Debt Limit

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  1. You are a lot more optimistic than me. I think people on both sides of the aisle want a shutdown and want to break the debt ceiling. Every corporate raider in congress wants EU style austerity so they can sell government off to their wealthy donors. That said, the Tea Party is certainly insane. I can never imagine taking them seriously, and this situation could not have happened without them. I just think there is a lot more happening behind the scenes than is being reported. The money is behind the coming default, and that is the problem.

    • I don’t think it’s optimism there, Michael…I think what we’re witnessing in Washington vis-a-vis the debt ceiling struggle is one of the worst games of political chicken in American history. I say “worst” because if we actually default, that’s going to make the pain from austerity seem like a walk in the park.

      As for the austerity part…even when I was a conservative, Michael, I was against austerity for the simple fact that once you cut waste and fat from the federal budget (and there’s plenty around, even nowadays), where do you go next? Do you cut the meat away, the bones…ironically, even w/out the EU-style austerity-light that’s been imposed, the deficit (and debt, for that matter) are headed towards their lowest points in quite some time.

      • Oh yeah, it’s bad, no doubt. I’m also liberal and I’m also against austerity. I don’t think EU’s austerity is light, though. It seems pretty heavy to me. Ask the Cypriot bank depositors or the homeless Greeks living in caves or the Irish people who almost just lost their Seanad as a cost cutting move how light they think EU austerity is. I think that is where the powerful donors and lobbyists are taking this, though. Once they cut the fat they do cut away the muscle and bone, and they don’t care about the effects on the citizens. A lot of these people are monopolists who are trying to raid the US like Cecil Rhodes raided Africa. Sure, it’s less violent than Rhodes, but they seek to destroy our safety nets and increase our debt loads in order to drive the cost of human capital down. This shutdown was caused by decisions like Citizens United, and shortly the McCutcheon vs the FEC decision. The story is as old as government, it never changes.

  2. Quoting…”This shutdown was caused by decisions like Citizens United, and shortly the McCutcheon vs the FEC decision.”

    It’s definitely one reason, that’s for sure; as bad as CU was for campaign financing and political discourse, McCutcheon, by most readings, is worse and if that goes through…

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