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Initially, Harry Reid wanted to extend the debt ceiling enough to get to the end of 2012 (so it’s not an election issue).
Now magically that’s become spring of 2013:
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on Friday his budget legislation would increase the nation’s borrowing authority until March, 2013 and reiterated that he would not accept a short-term debt limit increase as Republicans are insisting.
Earlier in the day, Reid called on Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to sit down with him to work out a compromise for cutting federal spending and raising the debt limit by the August 2 deadline.
Of course Reid wants to sit down with McConnell — he’ll want to build McConnell’s plan into his own bill (reminder: it’s been a couple of weeks since Boeher said the McConnell plan “might look pretty good a couple of weeks from now”).
It’s been said before but bears repeating — President Obama might end up with the ability to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling through 2012 and beyond. Since most of the alleged “cuts” are pushed off well into the future, the government might basically have $2.4 trillion to play with heading into the 2012 election, and the “cuts” that pay for it won’t hit until some of them are out of office (if ever). This is something that must have Obama salivating:
Reid would have President Obama request a $2.4 trillion debt-limit increase in two installments of $1.2 trillion each. The requests would be subject to congressional resolutions of disapproval, but these would do little to restrict the president.
Obama could veto any resolution of disapproval, and it would take a two-thirds vote in both chambers of Congress to override him.
By the way, $2.4 trillion would be the largest debt ceiling increase ever. It was raised a record $1.9 trillion only 18 months ago.
Somehow they’re managing to sell this as “cutting the size of government”?
The Tea Party types in the House did the right thing. The problem is that there aren’t enough of them… yet.
Update: This is truly hilarious… Harry Reid spent the week whining about Republican “obstructionism,” but now he’s filibustering his own bill:
Senate Republicans want a 60-vote threshold for a debt-limit bill to pass the chamber, but it’s actually Democrats who are enforcing the filibuster on their own legislation, insisting on delaying a vote until 1 a.m. Sunday morning.