HuffPost’s Elise Foley reports:
House Republicans will hold a vote Friday on a revised plan to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending by $22 billion next year, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said. The viability of the House GOP debt plan, proposed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), was in doubt on Thursday evening, after it was pulled from the floor just before it was set to go for a vote. It had already been revised once, after an embarrassing Congressional Budget Office score that showed the original bill would cut billions less than it was meant to. The second version of the bill, which leadership called the last-ditch effort to avoid default, was still a few votes short of the 216 needed for passage on Thursday evening.
But by Friday morning, many members who had previously opposed the bill said they will now support it. The key was a change in the Balanced Budget Amendment provision of the bill. While the original plan required a vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment, the new bill will require passage of the amendment in both the House and the Senate to trigger the second tranche of the bill — a second raise of the debt ceiling set to take place later this year.
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From: Call Center
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 11:21 AM
To: System Administrators, All
Subject: System Alert – House Telephone Circuits Near Capacity
Due to the high volume of external calls, House telephone circuits serving 202-225-XXXX phone numbers are near capacity resulting in outside callers occasionally getting busy signals. Outbound calls are unaffected.
During this time offices may wish to provide district office staff and key contacts with an alternate 202-226-XXXX extension, if available, until call volumes subside.
– Ryan Grim
HuffPost’s Paul Blumenthal reports:
The House Republican leadership is having a tough time twisting arms to get to 216 votes on the debt limit plan proposed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Yesterday the GOP leaders had to pull their bill from the floor and have indefinitely postponed a vote. The leadership has had one major tool at their disposal when twisting arms, but will it be enough?
For a long time, congressional leadership has been organized and propelled by one thing: fundraising.
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HuffPost’s Sam Stein reports:
GOP opposition to a deal that would extend the debt ceiling through the 2012 elections softened a bit on Friday as an influential Senate Republican said he supported the idea of putting off the issue for another year and a half.
Appearing on MSNBC, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said that in light of the drama and political theatrics of the past few weeks, it would not be “healthy” to have to raise the debt ceiling again in six months — something that House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) bill would require.
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President Barack Obama said Friday that Democrats and Republicans are “not that far apart” on a debt compromise but that there is virtually no time left to get something done.
“There are plenty of ways out of this mess,” Obama said during brief remarks at the White House. “But we are almost out of time.”
“Keep in mind, if we don’t do that, if we don’t come to an agreement, we could lose our country’s AAA credit rating,” the president added. “Not because we didn’t have the capacity to pay our bills — we do — but because we didn’t have a AAA political system to match our AAA credit rating.”
Obama said both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have offered plans that “could get us through” to raising the debt ceiling by Tuesday. The main sticking point, he said, is settling on the level of spending cuts as “a first step” to reducing the deficit.
“There are a lot of crises in the world that we can’t always prevent. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks,” the president said. “This isn’t one of them.”
Obama also called on Americans to “keep the pressure on Washington” and call, email or tweet their Members of Congress to let them know that they need to get the job done.The last time the president urged people to contact Congress on the issue, phone lines and websites on Capitol Hill were jammed for more than a day.
– Jennifer Bendery
House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) bill to raise the debt ceiling will now include a requirement for the passage of a balanced budget amendment, member said after a GOP conference meeting on Friday.
The plan was retooled last night after Leadership fell short of the votes needed for passage. The new bill will require both the House and Senate to pass a balanced budget amendment as part of the second part of the deal, to raise the debt ceiling again later this year.
That change convinced more than 10 members to flip their votes, said Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.)
Reps. Jeff Landry (R-La.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who had previously vowed to vote against Boehner’s bill, said they will now support it.
– Elise Foley
“My Tea Party friends I’m sure appreciate this but we have to keep reminding ourselves, we don’t control the government,” Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) told Fox News in an interview Friday. “Conservatives are not in charge. And therefore we are not going to get exactly what we want; we have to craft something that leads us in the right direction.”
“We can’t dictate the result,” Kyl continued. “Republicans only control the House of Representatives, and twice now they’ve passed something to the Senate and the Senate has said no. So the Democrats in the Senate, never having come up with a budget, never having passed anything out of the Senate, have been in the position of saying no to every Republican idea. The question is what can be crafted that Senate Democrats will say yes to, because they are half of the legislative equation here.”
|@ mikeallen : Jon Karl on ABC, quoting Boehner to Conference: “I am a happy warrior. I love everyone. But I need you guys to come together for this”|
|@ jbendery : GOP Sen. Coburn to MSNBC: Lots of theatrics right now. “Come Tuesday … we’ll have something figured out.” #debt|
Today 10:46 AM Obama Calls On Public To ‘Keep The Pressure On’
In brief remarks Friday morning, President Obama urged Americans to “call, email, tweet — keep the pressure on” Congress to reach a deal on the debt ceiling.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Friday he will bring forward his debt proposal later in the day because, at this stage, it truly is the “last train leaving the station.”
“If I move tonight, we can’t have final vote until Tuesday morning,” Reid said during remarks on the Senate floor.
“There will be no time left to vote on another bill or consider another option here in the Senate. None.”
Lawmakers only have until Tuesday, Aug. 2, to pass some kind of debt compromise to prevent the government beginning to default on its loans. To date, Reid’s plan still lacks the GOP support needed to pass the Senate. The House Republican plan is worse off, lacking the votes to pass the Senate and possibly even the House. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pulled that bill down late Thursday night, after hours of backroom arm-twisting, due to a lack of votes.
Reid said he invited Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to meet with him Friday “in good faith” to try to hammer out a final bipartisan compromise. He said while he still draws the line at passing any kind of short-term debt ceiling hike, he is willing to make major changes to his proposal to bring Republicans on board.
“Help me work through this,” Reid said to Republicans. “I have no pride of authorship.”
– Jennifer Bendery