John Boehner managed to get his Tea Party debt reduction plan through the House of Representatives this evening… by one vote. Now all he has to do is deliver it to the Senate where it can be put out of its misery.
The House narrowly passed GOP debt-limit legislation Friday after Republican leaders revised it to gain the support of recalcitrant tea party conservatives, but Senate Democrats declared it dead on arrival in their chamber and moved to replace it with a bipartisan plan that would raise the federal debt ceiling ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline, averting a potentially catastrophic U.S. default.
The vote was 218 to 210 in favor of a bill offered by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). After revising the plan and intensively rallying Republicans to support it, Boehner was barely able to muster the 217 votes need for passage, but Democrats were united in opposing it. Twenty-two Republicans joined 188 Democrats in voting “no.”
President Obama warned earlier in the day that the House GOP plan had “no chance of becoming law,” and he instead urged Senate Democrats and Republicans to reach a “bipartisan compromise.” He said time is running out to lift the federal debt ceiling and reiterated his objections to a measure that includes only a short-term increase of the debt limit.
Senate Democrats said they remained solidly opposed to the Boehner plan. In debate leading up to the vote, minority House Democrats called the measure a waste of time.
A complete waste of time. Ridiculous.
UPDATE: (as expected)…
The Democratic-controlled Senate voted to table Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s debt-limit bill Friday evening, effectively killing it less than two hours after the House passed it.
Democrats and several Republicans defeated the GOP measure by a 59-41 vote, just minutes after it arrived from the House. Democrats opposed the measure because it would require another debt-limit debate early next year.
The move continues a standoff over the debt limit but could set the table for negotiations this weekend on compromise legislation. An Aug. 2 deadline to prevent a default on U.S. obligations looms.
Action in the Senate stalled after the tabling vote when Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky could not agree on how to proceed on Reid’s proposal. Reid later said McConnell wanted a filibuster and refused to negotiate with him. The Senate adjourned until 1 p.m. EDT Saturday.