Debt ceiling deal tomorrow?
[Posted by Karl]
Sen. Maj. Ldr. Harry Reid delayed a vote on his bill to raise the debt limit to give negotiators at the White House more time to work on a compromise. (The establishment media will treat this as entirely different from House Speaker Boehner delaying a vote on his bill by one day, of course.) Late Saturday night, word of a tentative deal was leaked to the press. ABC’s Jonathan Karl had it first, but National Journal’s Major Garrett adds a twist (in bold):
- $2.8 trillion in deficit reduction with $1 trillion locked in through discretionary spending caps over 10 years and the remainder determined by a so-called super committee.
- The Super Committee must report precise deficit-reduction proposals by Thanksgiving.
- The Super Committee would have to propose $1.8 trillion spending cuts to achieve that amount of deficit reduction over 10 years.
- If the Super Committee fails, Congress must send a balanced-budget amendment to the states for ratification. If that doesn’t happen, across-the-board spending cuts would go into effect and could touch Medicare and defense spending.
- No net new tax revenue would be part of the special committee’s deliberations.
That bolded part, if true, would go some way toward mollifying House GOP Reps. like Dennis Ross (the potential cuts to Medicare and defense are likely intended to encourage the GOP to agree to something else, although there is not supposed to be a net tax hike — perhaps tax hikes on “the rich” offset by other cuts). That’s why I find myself in rare agreement with ThinkProgress that it’s more important to see the actual plan than to get riled up over leaks. Indeed, the ABC story was quickly updated to note White House pushback against the idea that a deal had been struck. The leaks may be coming from GOP sources trying to create the impression of a deal to pressure Pres. Obama to agree — not unlike what the NFL owners recently did at the end of the negotiations with the players.