House Passes “Cut, Cap & Balance” On Party-Line Vote
Last night’s vote on the House GOP’s “Cut, Cap & Balance” plan went about as expected:
House Republicans on Tuesday approved an ambitious but legislatively ill-fated plan to enact deep spending restraints that could clear the decks for a compromise over the debt limit.
The so-called “cut, cap and balance” measure passed on a party-line vote, 234-190, as nine Republicans — including presidential candidates Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Ron Paul (Texas) — and five Democrats defected.
Democrats excoriated the GOP for advancing the bill, which the White House has threatened to veto.
The bill has absolutely no chance in the Senate, of course, which is likely why Speaker Boehner is already working on Plan B:
Even as the GOP brought the “cut, cap and balance” legislation to the floor, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said party leaders in the lower chamber had begun discussions over a “Plan B” to increase the debt ceiling by the Treasury Department’s Aug. 2 deadline if a broad agreement wasn’t possible.
“I’m not going to give up hope on ‘cut, cap and balance,’ but I do think it’s responsible for us to look at what Plan B would look like,” Boehner said at a Capitol press conference following a closed-door GOP conference meeting. “And the leadership had a long conversation yesterday about Plan B. There are a lot of options available to us. There have been no decisions made as yet.”
Whether Plan B will be McConnell-Reid, or some version of the Gang of Six plan released yesterday remains to be seen. Whether either one of those has any chance of passing the House is something nobody seems to know.