WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID? President Obama departs from the podium and past Vice president Joe Biden and White House communications director Daniel Pfeiffer following a press briefing on debt negotiations July 31. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images via MSNBC.com)
The agreement would raise the $14.3 trillion debt limit in two stages by as much as $2.4 trillion. It represents a victory for Obama, in that it would allow him to avoid another politically grueling and economically damaging debt-limit fight in the heat of the 2012 presidential campaign.
However, Obama failed to secure other top priorities, including fresh measures to revive the flagging recovery and an end to tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. Obama said he would pursue those priorities later this year, when a new congressional committee would begin the search for a broader debt-reduction plan, under the terms of the deal.
“The ultimate solution to our deficit problem must be balanced,” Obama said Sunday. “That’s why the second part of this agreement is so important.”
Republicans, by contrast, won severe cuts to agency budgets over the next decade and the prospect of deeper cuts to come, delivering on the campaign promises that helped them gain control of the House in last fall’s congressional elections. Democrats also agreed to stage a vote on a balanced-budget amendment, which has become a rallying point for tea-party-aligned conservatives.”
– The Washington Post, “White House, Congressional Leaders Reach Debt Deal”
“Sausage making is not pretty. But the sausage we have, I think, is a very different sausage from when we started.”
Senator DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D - California), on the torturous debt negotiation process.
Thanks, Jimmy Dean.
(via the New York Times)
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said Sunday morning that he was “very close” to recommending to his members that they sign on to a debt deal with President Obama and the Democrats.
Speaking on the CNN program “State of the Union,” Mr. McConnell said the deal included as much as $3 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years, with much of that decided later this year by a joint congressional committee.
“What conservatives want to do is cut spending,” he said. “We’ve come a long way. This agreement is likely to encompass up to $3 trillion is spending cuts.”
In addition, Mr. McConnell said the agreement would allow votes in Congress on a balanced budget amendment.
Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, a top Democrat in the Senate, cautioned on the same program that “there is no final agreement. No one has signed off on a final agreement.”
But he indicated the he and others were expressing optimism because of the ongoing discussions between the congressional leaders.
“If there is a word that would sum up the mood it would be relief,” he said. “Relief that we won’t default.””
The New York Times, “McConnell Sees Debt Deal ‘Very Close,’ Focus Is On Triggers for Cuts.”
Today, “progress” is partly defined by how slowly we get there.
- Monthly budgets might take a hit. Treasury would have to conserve cash and prioritize its payments, endangering the estimated 80 million checks the government pays each month, including 56 million to Social Security beneficiaries and 8.3 million to disabled citizens. The elderly, the disabled and anyone else counting on the government for unemployment assistance, food stamps or other benefits would feel the pinch.
- Federal employees and contractors might not get paid. The federal government also processes an estimated 3.9 million payments each month for federal workers’ salaries as well as 1.8 million to non-defense contractors who do work for the government.
- It might become more difficult to get a job. Consumers might hold back on spending, giving businesses even less confidence to hire people during a time when the economy is already growing at an anemic 1.3 percent. Anyone standing in the unemployment line could find it increasingly difficult to land a job.
- It could become more expensive to get a loan. If the governments defaults on its debt, investors would demand that the Treasury pay them a higher interest rate to compensate for the added risk of lending money to the United States. That would send interest rates higher on mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit and car loans, because Treasury rates act as a benchmark for these and many other types of consumer loans.
- Retirement portfolios might take a hit.
- Local improvement projects could get delayed or cancelled.
Read the whole thing here.
“Mr. President, Senate members: that’s not true.”
Senate Majority Leader HARRY REID (D - NV), on the Senate floor, reacting to reports that debt talks had “moved forward” and were “close.”
Jesus H. Christ.
Jeff Parker / Florida Today
(via Cagle Cartoons)
House Republicans muscled through a revised debt limit plan without a single Democratic vote on Friday night and the Senate quickly killed it by tabling the bill indefinitely and moving to start consideration of a Democratic plan to avoid default.
The move now sets up an uncertain 72 hours as the Congress moves ever closer to the Tuesday deadline when the Treasury Department says the country will default on its financial obligations without an increase in the debt ceiling.
Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, said he intends to start the legislative clock ticking on Friday on a new plan to raise the debt ceiling, though it was also possible to allow time for negotiation.
The two votes came about 24 hours after the first Republican proposal backed by Speaker John A. Boehner stalled. On Friday, the House voted 218 to 210 in favor of a revised plan that would increase the federal debt ceiling in two stages, with the second installment of $1.6 trillion contingent on Congressional approval of a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. The Constitutional amendment provision was added to attract conservatives who balked Thursday.”
– The New York Times, “Senate Quickly Kills Boehner Debt Bill”
“There are a lot of crises that we can’t predict or avoid: earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes. This isn’t one of those crises.”
– President BARACK OBAMA, on the Republicans dicking around instead of trying to resolve the nation’s debt crisis.
OMG, I hope the President doesn’t say something we haven’t heard before!
“Good morning. We’re gonna default. Default default default. Default? Default. Default default, default! Republicans, stop being difficult. Because default is difficult. Difficult default is difficult. Default is definitely difficult. Ani DiFranco default is definitely difficult. Es deficil! Default that is. So, to sum up: don’t debate difficulty of defibrillating defaming defanging debilitating deballing desecrating D’Angelo DePalma deRossi DeGrassi Junior High default.”
“All my best to you, GOP Freshmen, from up here in the Last Frontier. Sincerely, Sarah Palin. P.S. Everyone I talk to still believes in contested primaries.”
From a Facebook post by GOP nobody SARAH PALIN; just hours later, House Speaker John Boehner was forced to delay a vote on the GOP’s debt reduction plan.
As the New York Times puts it, “There is no proof that Ms. Palin’s online missive was even read by any of the wavering Republicans or played any role in helping to stir up the sheep in Mr. Boehner’s flock. But the former Alaska governor is very good at capturing media attention when she wants it. And refusing to go along with what the establishment — especially the Republican establishment — wants is one of the ways she does it.”
This scumbag doesn’t hold elected office; she’s a stupid idiot; and she’s too scared to say whether or not she’ll run for president. And yet elemnets of the Republican party are too scared to stand up to this bespectacled sideline bully.
(via the New York Times)