Reid plans Sunday afternoon vote on all-but-dead debt ceiling proposal

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced late Saturday night that he’s planning a 1:00 p.m. Sunday floor vote for his debt ceiling plan, even though it is all but dead. Reid initially scheduled the vote for 1:00 a.m. on Sunday.

On Saturday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attracted the signatures of 43 Republican senators on a letter vowing to vote against Reid’s bill. The House also voted Reid’s plan down, 173–246. Eleven House Democrats joined a unanimous House Republican caucus in opposing the proposal. At a press conference with McConnell on Saturday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner said the House vote against Reid’s plan indicated bipartisan opposition to the top Senate Democrat’s proposal.

“Today’s vote on the House floor indicates there’s bipartisan opposition to Senator Reid’s proposal,” Boehner said. “The House yesterday sent our second bill to end this crisis to the Senate. It’s a reasonable, responsible approach that will end this crisis, get our economy moving again and get Americans back to work.”

Nonetheless, Reid still plans to go ahead with a vote on his plan Sunday afternoon. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced on Saturday that the lower chamber of Congress won’t be holding any votes until Monday.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican and a Tea Party favorite, offered to vote for Reid’s plan if it included a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Paul said Reid and Senate Democrats rejected his proposal, which he said indicates Democrats are the ones who are unwilling to negotiate a compromise.

“Senate Democrats are now holding up compromise on the debt ceiling, not over how much to raise it, and not over what or where to cut,” Paul said. “They are holding up the debt ceiling simply because they will not agree to a Balanced Budget Amendment.” (McConnell leads GOP Senators in bashing Reid’s plan, calls for Obama to get in involved)

During a floor speech Saturday, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio took a swipe at President Barack Obama for not introducing his own plan. “I have watched the president give press conferences, I have watched the president give speeches, but I have yet to see a plan from the president,” Rubio said before also bashing Reid’s debt ceiling proposal.

On the other side of the aisle, Reid said Boehner’s Budget Control Act, which passed the House on Friday but was tabled in the Senate, was a “concession to Tea Party extremists.” Reid added that he considers his own bill to have bipartisan support.

“We have solicited ideas from our Republican friends and colleagues,” Reid said on the Senate floor on Saturday. “Let it never be said that Democrats in the Senate were afraid to compromise. We welcome it.”

Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also went to the White House to meet with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden Saturday. According to White House pool reports, no substantive details of the meeting were released.