• Out of Time?

    Earlier today, House Speaker John Boehner finally managed to pass his proposal for raising the debt ceiling, in exchange for numerous spending cuts. The bill was pushed through with a 218-210 vote, with 22 Republicans opposing the measure and no Democrat support.

    Now the proposal has to go through the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed to shit-can the proposal in favor of his own, which needs at least 7 Republican votes to pass to avoid filibuster.

    The differences between Reid's and Boehner's plan?

    Boehner's plan, which has since been revised, proposed generating a total of $917 billion in savings while initially raising the debt ceiling by $900 billion. The speaker has pledged to match any debt ceiling hike with dollar-for-dollar spending cuts.

    (Reid's) plan, however, would require a second vote by Congress to raise the debt ceiling by a combined $2.5 trillion -- enough to last through the end of 2012. It would create a special congressional committee to recommend additional savings of $1.6 trillion or more.

    As for Reid's plan, it would reduce deficits over the next decade by $2.2 trillion. Democrats have promised that the final version of the plan will contain additional savings -- enough to match any required debt ceiling hike through 2012.

    Reid's plan would cut spending by $1.8 trillion, including $1 trillion in savings based on the planned U.S. withdrawals from military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    A small debt ceiling bump matched with pound-for-pound dollar amount cuts designed to starve "unwanted" programs and have the president crawling back for a second ceiling bump plea months down the road, vs. a larger bump that gives the U.S. more fiscal breathing room for a longer period of time, with more substantial cuts coming from areas that actually need spending cuts (military spending), as opposed to leaving those areas sacrosanct while taking bites out of "social net" programs (Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, etc).

    EDIT: As of 8:31 this evening, that proposal's been tabled, 59 to 41. Unless the Democrat-led Senate decides to bring it up again, it's stone dead.  And now there will be weekend negotiations to seek a solution to avoid a sovereign default come August 2nd.