Less than two hours after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a Republican-drafted debt plan Friday evening, the Senate voted to freeze the legislation in hopes that a better deal will be worked out.
The House vote was close, 218 to 210, and almost completely along party lines. The bill would increase the debt ceiling by $900 billion while also cutting $917 billion from federal spending.
Shortly after the bill passed the House, the Senate, without debate, voted 59 to 41 to table the legislation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid then wasted no time introducing an alternative that would cut spending by $2.4 trillion and raise the debt ceiling by the same amount. And with that, the debate wears on. —BF
Moments after the Senate tabled the House bill, Reid unveiled an alternative that would cut spending by $2.4 trillion and raise the debt limit by the same amount, enough to meet Obama’s terms that it tide the Treasury over until 2013.
Reid invited Republicans to suggest changes, saying, “This is likely our last chance to save this nation from default.”
The Senate GOP leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, accused Democrats of “rounding up ‘no’ votes to keep this crisis alive,” and noted the House had passed two bills to raise the debt limit and the Senate none.
The House, eager to return the Senate’s favor rejecting the Boehner bill, set a vote to reject Reid’s proposal on Saturday. The Senate set a test vote for shortly after midnight on Sunday, a middle-of-the-night roll call that underscored the limited time available to lawmakers.
White House / Pete Souza
Play nice: House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a meeting last year.