43 Republican Senators Say They’ll Vote No On Reid Bill

The prospects for Harry Reid’s debt ceiling plan just got a lot more difficult with the release of a letter from Mitch McConnell signed by enough Republican Senators to stop any effort to invoke cloture:

Forty-three GOP senators on Saturday signed a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) expressing opposition to his debt-ceiling legislation currently being considered in the upper chamber.

Their unified opposition to the bill leaves Democrats at least three votes short of the 60 needed to a clear cloture and virtually assures its defeat when it comes up for a vote tonight or tomorrow morning.

Only moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Scott Brown (Mass.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) did not sign on to the letter.

“We are writing to let you know that we will not vote for your $2.4 trillion debt limit amendment which, if enacted, would result in the single largest debt ceiling increase in the history of the United States,” reads the letter.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the floor moments after the letter was delivered to assure Reid, who was also on the floor, that the proposal had no chance of clearing the chamber.

“It’s not going anywhere,” said McConnell. “It will not pass the Senate. It will not pass House.”

McConnell also accused Reid of “delaying the inevitable” defeat of the bill and called for an immediate vote. The first procedural vote is currently expected at around 1 a.m. on Sunday.

Reid’s bill will die in the 1:00am vote unless he’s able to make changes that peel away at least three of those 43 Republicans, something that seems quite unlikely at this point. Odds are that we will wake up in the morning with every proposed debt ceiling plan essentially dead in the water. And we’re running out of time.

 

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Quick Takes, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    So, in the end, it’ll be up to President Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment and declare there is no debt ceiling.

  2. Herb says:

    Odds are that we will wake up in the morning with every proposed debt ceiling plan essentially dead in the water.

    Um, yeah, kind of seems like the point of this whole exercise, dunnit?

  3. Racehorse says:

    Can anyone explain objections to a balanced budget amendment?
    The middle class has to try and balance their budget every week. Why can’t the government?

  4. Tano says:

    This is yet another meaningless vote, and it really doesn’t change anything. Reid, and everyone else certainly have known all along that various tweaks would be necessary in order to win over at least 7 Repubs, in order to get past the filibuster, and he has been working to do just that for the past few days.

    So what is the point of the House voting on a bill that has not yet come out of the Senate – and a version of that bill that is already obsolete? Yet another pointless gesture to make some obscure political point?

    I am surprised you can’t seem to see through this nonsense, Doug.

  5. Tano says:

    @Racehorse:

    The middle class has to try and balance their budget every week. Why can’t the government?

    An amendment doesn’t just force the government to “try and balance” the budget -it forces it to actually succeed at that, something that lots of middle class people are not managing to do.

    In any case, the analogy between a government and an individual family is rather silly. Think rather of what would happen to a large corporate enterprise if it were suddenly unable to borrow money.

  6. @Racehorse:

    Can anyone explain objections to a balanced budget amendment?
    The middle class has to try and balance their budget every week. Why can’t the government?

    Because the cuts necessary are not possible without cutting programs that are extremely popular with the voters. The BBA is a cop out, a way for the Republicans to force cuts without having to call for the hard decisions necessary to achieve it. So they want to have their cake and eat it to. Try to force a situation where the Democrats have to make the cuts and then blame them for the result pain.

  7. Anonne says:

    The BBA is a horrible idea that will constrain the government’s ability to act when necessary, whether it is to participate in a legitimate war or to actually raise taxes to increase revenue. But see, that is the real point – they want to make it nigh impossible to ever raise taxes.

  8. Vast Variety says:

    This is kind of like watching an episode of McGuyver where he is trying to diffuse a nuclear warhead with a bobby pin and some duct tape. Something tells me this episode might not have a happy ending.

  9. Vast Variety says:

    @Racehorse:

    Can anyone explain objections to a balanced budget amendment? The middle class has to try and balance their budget every week. Why can’t the government?

    Ok, Imagine December 7th 1941 with a balanced budget amendment. We were just attacked by Japan… How do we pay for World War II without going outside of the budget?

  10. Racehorse says:

    @Vast Variety: In cases of emergency, you would have provisions (earthquake, hurricane, defensive need, etc). One idea is to base next year’s budget on this year’s revenue – many states do that.

  11. jukeboxgrad says:

    In cases of emergency, you would have provisions

    It’s an idea that sounds good on paper but turns out to be not just impractical but dangerous.

    Yes, there is a provision that says the budget doesn’t have to be balanced if there’s a war. Guess what: this gives the government a big incentive to make sure there’s always a war. Great idea, huh? We’re already inclined to always be at war (a long time ago, Ike explained why). We don’t need something that pushes us even further in that direction.

  12. A voice from another precinct says:

    @Vast Variety: Actually your test case in invalid because the plan allows for no balanced budget any year in which the US is engaged in a war (or hostilities?–See Dr. Taylor’s post on this part of the issue).

    It is possible that even with the balanced budget ammendment, Congress would never have to balance the budget because our mission in Korea is only assisting in keeping a cease-fire. The troops there are “in combat” by definition as there is no armistice.