Senate Rejects 'Cut, Cap and Balance' Legislation

From the Associated Press:

The Senate on Friday blocked a House Republican bill to require Congress to slash spending and pass a balanced-budget amendment before raising the nation’s borrowing powers. The vote left unresolved, with just days to go, the urgent issue of how to lift the debt limit to avoid a U.S. government default.

The 51-46 Senate vote against the tea party-backed measure–which had been expected in the Democratic-run chamber–came shortly after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters he and President Barack Obama had not reached a separate agreement to resolve the debt crisis.

“There was no agreement, publicly, privately, never an agreement, and frankly not close to an agreement,” Boehner said. “So I suggest it’s going to be a hot weekend here in Washington, D.C.”

For his part, Obama made it clear that the biggest obstacle to striking a deal remains a large bloc of conservative House Republicans.

Speaking at a town hall-style meeting at the nearby University of Maryland, Obama said he was “willing to sign a plan that would include tough choices I would not ordinarily sign,” even if went further than those in his own party wanted.

“Whether I like it or not, I’ve got to get the debt ceiling raised,” Obama declared. Of crafting a deal that could win over skeptical House Republicans, Obama said, “We’re going to keep working on that.”

The administration says the government is in danger of defaulting for the first time in its history after August 2 unless Congress raises the federal debt ceiling so it can keep borrowing enough to pay its bills.

If progress is to be made over the weekend in the nation’s steamy capital, it will have to be done behind closed doors and not in the open.

Read the whole thing here.



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