POLITICS

Obama: Debt Ceiling Talks Fell Apart, Boehner Walked Out

07/22/2011 09:27 pm ET | Updated Sep 21, 2011

WASHINGTON -- Social Security and Medicare may have been saved by the Tea Party's refusal to accept President Barack Obama's "grand bargain."

On Friday evening, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) walked away from the latest offer on the table by Obama, who summoned congressional leaders back to the White House on Saturday for an 11:00 meeting to hash out a Plan B. The most viable option left for addressing the debt crisis, crafted by a bipartisan pair of Senate leaders, calls for much smaller cuts than the ones the president was willing to make.

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President Obama and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will be joined by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the House leaders, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Noticeably absent are the congressional deputies, particularly Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) whose testy exchanges with the president have added an extra layer of difficulty to the talks.

With the Tea Party's major proposal knocked down by the Senate, and with the Obama-Boehner talks scuttled, negotiations are now focusing on finding a solution that can garner just enough votes in both chambers to become law in under ten days. It's all about whipping votes now.

"No one wants to punt until default is the only other option," a Democratic aide said Friday morning, before the Senate voted down a House offer that coupled a debt ceiling raise with a radical constitutional amendment.

With the "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill out of the way, the lone obstacle to the debate's conclusion was the talks between Boehner and Obama. The collapse in those grand bargain negotiations paradoxically move the broader debt ceiling negotiations closer to an end. And not a moment too soon: The White House has repeatedly said that July 22nd was the day by which Congress must have identified a path forward and begun work toward its passage.

During a hastily called press briefing on Friday night, Obama said Boehner called him half an hour earlier and "indicated he was going to be walking away" from the compromise the two of them had been privately working on. A Democratic source told The Huffington Post that the president had called Boehner on Thursday evening to discuss the deal, but never heard back. The president tried again Friday afternoon. He finally got a return call at 5:30 p.m. The speaker, the source added, briefed the press about his decision to pull out of the deal before telling Obama.

"I've been left at the alter now a couple of times," said Obama.

Speaking to a half-filled room of reporters, the president laid out just how dramatic the cuts to the social safety would have been in the deal he was trying to give Republicans. He said that he couldn't believe Boehner walked away from the proposal he was offering: $3.5 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, smaller tax increases than those laid out in a bipartisan Senate plan and cuts to entitlement programs, something Democrats have pushed hard against. It also didn't include revenues that Obama has insisted be in a final package, namely via closing tax loopholes and ending subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

"In other words, this was an extraordinarily fair deal," Obama told reporters. "If it was unbalanced, it was unbalanced in the direction of not enough revenue."

The president appeared genuinely flummoxed at the talks falling apart, saying there "doesn't seem to be a capacity for [Republicans] to say yes." He said he couldn't believe Congress would "end up being that irresponsible" as to impose a "self-inflicted wound on the economy at a time when things are so difficult."

The New York Times also played a major part in the breakdown of talks between Boehner and the White House, reporting Thursday that the pair had moved very close to a deal. Both sides spent the rest of the day knocking down the report, while Senate Democrats fumed that the White House was caving.

The latest breakdown comes with about a week left until the Aug. 2 deadline, at which point the government is expected to run out of money to pay its bills. Even if a default is averted, the protracted debate over raising the debt limit has left the U.S. government dangerously close to having its credit rating downgraded. In that event, Americans could expect a spike in interest rates on their credit cards, student loans and mortgages, with ramifications felt through the U.S. and global economy.

"We have now run out of time," the president said. He said he told congressional leaders to come back to the White House at 11 a.m. on Saturday "to explain to me how we are going to avoid default."

In a press conference later Friday night, Boehner accused the White House of having “moved the goal post” in negotiations.

“The president demanded $400 billion more” in revenues when the two of them met Thursday, Boehner said, which is “nothing more than a tax increase on the American people.”

He said he and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) were “very disappointed” by that demand. Boehner also sent a letter to House Republicans on Friday night explaining why he pulled out.

"It has become evident that the White House is not serious about ending the spending binge that is destroying jobs and endangering our children's future," the GOP leader wrote. "A deal was never reached, and was never really close."

At a briefing with reporters shortly after the president spoke, three senior White House officials laid out in detail their version of where the discussions fell apart.

On the discretionary spending front, both sides had "identical offers," said one of the officials. There would be $1.2 trillion in cuts over the course of ten years; $1 trillion in savings that would come from the draw-down of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; and $250 billion in savings in Medicare over the course of 10 years. Both sides had also agreed to attach a second piece of legislation, to be decided via the reconciliation budget process, that would have changed the retirement age for Medicare and changed the premium structure for Medicare Part B and D, while eliminating certain kinds of supplemental insurance. That bill would also contain changes to the way Social Security benefits were paid starting in 2015, with buffers put in to protect the lowest-income beneficiaries.

There was, in addition, an informal agreement to try and extend Social Security's solvency by an additional 75 years. How they would get there, however, remained a point of contention, with the president wanting a package of benefit and premium changes and Republicans focusing just on the benefit side. Unable to overcome that impasse, the two sides settled on vague language requiring them to meet that 75-year goal with future reforms.

Where the two sides remained apart were on Medicaid cuts, with Republicans demanding tens of billions of dollars more in cuts than the president was comfortable making. White House officials described that difference as possible to overcome, however.

The revenue component, in the end, remained unbridgeable. According to senior White House officials, each side had agreed to pass tax reform down the road that would result in $800 billion in revenue generated -- the equivalent amount of savings that would be achieved if the top-end Bush tax cuts were simply allowed to expire. The administration wanted $400 billion in revenues on top of that. Republicans wanted zero, and in statements on Friday night GOP leadership aides insisted that the White House had changed the contours of the negotiations by making that demand in recent days.

Obama offered to move off that $400 billion mark should GOP leadership lessen the type of cuts to entitlement programs they were demanding, White House aides said.

In addition, the two sides could not figure out what to do if that aspirational tax reform package wasn't achieved. The White House, at various points, proposed that the fallback option be the actual expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans demanded that they have something as bluntly frightening to Democrats. On Thursday, GOP leadership proposed that the penalty for inaction on tax reform be the repeal of the health care law's individual mandate as well as the newly created Independent Advisory Board, which has been set up to find cost savings in Medicare. The White House balked at the offer.

"Our view was we are not going to put the individual mandate in a deficit reduction package," said a senior White House official. "But we were open to other ideas and there are any number of formulations for us."

All of which does not mean that the big deal is now dead. In fact, White House officials made it abundantly clear that they would welcome GOP leadership back into those discussions.

"The speaker withdrew from the talks. This offer is still available,” said one of those officials.

Boehner, at his briefing, said he didn’t think his relationship with Obama, or debt talks, are beyond repair. He said he planned to go to the White House on Saturday with other leaders.

At this stage, the most viable proposal left on the table appears to be a far less ambitious debt plan put together by Reid and McConnell. Their proposal, dubbed a "fallback option," calls for $1.5 trillion in cuts, generates no new revenues and would put the onus fully on Obama to raise the debt limit, without Congress. It would also require the president to raise the debt ceiling in three increments over the next year and a half -- a politically driven requirement by McConnell aimed at making Obama take responsibility for all debt ceiling hikes ahead of the 2012 elections.

The other potential remedy -- for the president to exercise the so-called constitutional option and invoke 14th Amendment powers to raise the debt ceiling himself -- was ruled out, once again, during the White House briefing.

"There are no options other than a legislative solution,” said a senior White House official.

A Democratic staffer familiar with Hill negotiations concurred that the Reid-McConnell plan appears the most likely resolution. The fight now heads to the trenches: The leaderships of both parties will cobble together coalitions in the House and Senate that can move the package through. In both parties, the wings will generally oppose leadership and the center will hold, if history is any guide. The same coalition passed the Wall Street bailout and the Obama-GOP tax cuts.

"We are prepared to compromise consistent with our values," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in response to the news. "Speaker Boehner's ‘adult moment’ is long overdue. Our economy, our children's education, our seniors' security and our nation's fiscal soundness require that we act without further delay."

Of course, there's also the bipartisan Senate Gang of Six proposal, which would slash $3.7 trillion in deficits over 10 years and raise up to $1 trillion in new revenues through tax code reform. But that proposal has critics in both parties, and some say there isn't enough time to turn it into a bill, send it to various committees for debate and pass it by Aug. 2.

Frustrations are clearly high on both sides of the aisle. As Twitter blew up at the news of the Obama-Boehner talks crumbling, Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring chimed in with a tweet knocking Obama for making it seem as if Republicans thwarted the process.

“As if there's really a question whether President Obama threw a tantrum at the White House last week - same guy just appeared,” Dayspring tweeted.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said Congress had to move fast now that things have gotten hairy. He warned that the situation is nothing like the government shutdown narrowly averted earlier this year.

"If you've got the speaker walking away from the White House -- astonishing in and of itself -- the next step is meltdown in the markets," Welch said. "This is tempting the markets to turn, and when they do, it will be sudden and savage, then things will be out of control and the damage will be huge and irreversible."

08/02/2011 5:13 PM EDT

Pelosi: Democrats 'Saved The Day' On Debt, Now Time For Jobs

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised Democratic lawmakers for bringing the country "back from the brink of default" and said now is the time to shift attention to jobs.

"We just completed a very lively leadership meeting of the House Democrats, where we talked about ... the necessity of Democrats to save the day yesterday, pulling our country back from the brink of default," Pelosi said during a Tuesday press conference.

"It was a bitter pill for us to swallow, but we did," Pelosi said of the final debt deal. "And as we did, we saved Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security."

With that bridge crossed, the next step is refocusing Congress on job creation, she said.

"Jobs, jobs, job, jobs, jobs. You cannot say it enough," Pelosi said. "I really liked what Willie Nelson said, or at least he was quoted as saying -- the American people are more concerned about a ceiling over their head than raising the debt ceiling. We know we need to do both."

The Minority Leader ducked questions about when she would announce her picks for the newly created "Super Congress," a 12-member panel of lawmakers who will decide where to make up to $1.5 trillion in spending cuts. Pelosi also wouldn't say if she will require her picks to insist on new revenues in addition to cuts. The goal, she said, is to strike a balance in cuts and spending while preserving entitlement benefits.

"Whoever is at that table will be someone who will fight to protect those benefits," she said.

-- Jennifer Bendery

08/02/2011 3:42 PM EDT

AARP Alarmed By Secretive Super Congress

AARP is relieved that the debt deal did not hack into Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, but the lobby for older Americans is worried all those programs could get whacked by a secretive super committee that's supposed to find an extra $1.5 trillion in deficit cutting.

The super committee -- made up of 12 lawmakers who will bypass the normal legislative process and produce a bill that cannot be amended -- will have to work quickly, coming up with a massive cutting plan by Thanksgiving.

"We are concerned that a fast-track committee process will deny Americans a voice in the discussion about critical tax, health and retirement issues," said AARP President Barry Rand in a statement.

“AARP believes that the American public deserves a seat at the table in any forum, including the newly created super committee, that discusses potential changes to these critical programs," Rand added. "We believe that our nation’s leaders should work together to strengthen health and retirement security for current and future generations.”

-- Michael McAuliff

08/02/2011 3:01 PM EDT

Top House Democrat Laments That Congress Can't Do Its Job

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), one of the only Democratic leaders to vote against the debt bill, lamented on Tuesday that the new law includes the creation of an all-powerful "Super Congress" of 12 hand-picked lawmakers who can decide where to make up to $1.5 trillion in future spending cuts.

"I think you've asked a very important question," DeLauro said, when asked why lawmakers created a special committee to do what should be Congress' job. "My preference obviously would be to have Congress take on these responsibilities. But clearly there's a view that there's an impasse and therefore, hopefully, a commission can do that."

DeLauro, a co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, split from other Democratic leaders in voting against the debt bill, which increases the government's spending power by $2.4 trillion through 2013 while imposing as much as $1.5 trillion in cuts, mostly from non-defense spending. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) all voted for the bill.

"For me, voting against the bill yesterday was about, given what is in this piece of legislation, it makes these opportunities for economic investments and economic growth all the more difficult," DeLauro said. "If we choke off all of our opportunities for investment, we will take this nation backwards instead of forward."

-- Jennifer Bendery

08/02/2011 2:04 PM EDT

Obama Signs Debt Deal

@ CNNPolitics : WH says President Obama has now signed the debt ceiling bill into law

08/02/2011 1:47 PM EDT

AARP 'Relieved,' 'Pleased' With Debt Deal

Senior citizens lobbying force AARP is happy that Social Security checks will not be interrupted by a debt ceiling standoff and that future benefits won't get automatically clobbered if the 12-member so-called super Congress fails to reach an agreement on deficit reduction.

"We are relieved that Congress has acted on a bipartisan agreement to address the debt ceiling and prevent default to ensure that seniors will continue to receive their Social Security checks and have access to health care," AARP CEO A. Barry Rand said in a statement. "Going forward, we are pleased that Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare benefits are protected if the so-called 'super committee' fails to reach an agreement later this fall, but we will remain vigilant in our efforts to protect the health and retirement security of seniors and future retirees. We are concerned that a fast-track committee process will deny Americans a voice in the discussion about critical tax, health and retirement issues. We also are concerned about the potential use of a trigger that would arbitrarily cut provider payments under Medicare, which could unfairly shift costs to seniors."

-- Arthur Delaney

08/02/2011 1:44 PM EDT

Obama: Let The Pivot To Jobs Begin

Speaking just minutes after the Senate passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling -- removing the last political hurdle for that bill's passage – President Obama delivered a speech in the Rose Garden in which he once again pleaded for a renewed focus on jobs.

Sounding at times exasperated that the political conversation had veered so swiftly to the topic of austerity, Obama urged Congress to present him with job-creating bills as soon as it returned from its August recess. The specifics were pretty much the same as the White House has pushed for weeks if not months: free trade agreements, patent reform, an infrastructure bank, regulatory changes and the extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.

"Growing the economy isn’t just about cutting spending, it is not about rolling back regulations that protect our air and water and keep people safe. That is not how we are going to get past this recession. We are going to have to do more than that," he said.

"There already is a quiet crisis going on in the lives of a lot of families and a lot communities all across the country. They are looking for work and they have been for a while ... that ought to compel Washington to cooperate, that ought to compel Washington to compromise and that ought to compel Washington to act."

Coming so soon after both the president and a large portion of the Democratic party signed off on a bill that takes roughly $2.4 trillion out of the economy in the next 10 years, it was hard to imagine that the remedies being offered would have much of a cumulative effect. Moreover, a "pivot" to jobs was already tried unsuccessfully after the tax cut debate at the end of 2010 and the government shut down debate in the spring of 2011.

But Obama's speech was more about establishing the proper tone than it was about forging out new legislative remedies. With the debt ceiling debate now over until after the 2012 election, the major discussion shifts back to what, if anything, government can do to spur economic growth. One portion of that argument will come when Congress must pass a budget to fund the government by the end of September. But the White House will likely try and create some sort of defining contrast between the president and his Republican critics well before then.

-- Sam Stein

08/02/2011 1:42 PM EDT

Bill Heads To Obama's Desk

HuffPost's Michael McAuliff and Elise Foley report on the Senate vote:

The Senate did its part Tuesday to end a months-long standoff and raise the debt ceiling, passing a bill that dramatically cuts spending and creates a new "super committee" that will slash budgets even more.

The Senate approved the measure 74 to 26. The bill will go to President Obama's desk with little time to spare; Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said that the country would begin to default on its obligations at midnight if a bill was not passed by then.

Although Democrats had many complaints about the bill, they supported it overwhelmingly, with 45 voting "yes" and six voting "no." Twenty-eight Republicans voted in favor of the bill, meanwhile, while 19 voted against it. The Senate's two Independents, Sens. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.) voted "yes" and "no," respectively.

Click here to read more.

08/02/2011 1:02 PM EDT

Harry Reid Speaks After Debt Deal Vote

"Neither side got what they wanted. ... That's the way our system works. That's what compromise is all about."

08/02/2011 12:31 PM EDT

Senate Passes Debt Ceiling Deal

The final vote is 74-26, more than the 60-vote majority required for passage.

08/02/2011 12:00 PM EDT

Debt Deal Polls: Leaders Behaving 'Like Spoiled Children'

HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal reports:

An overnight poll conducted by CNN and ORC International finds more Americans disapprove (52 percent) than approve (44 percent) of what the pollsters described as "an agreement between Barack Obama and the Republicans and Democrats in Congress [that] would raise the federal government's debt ceiling through the year 2013 and make major cuts in government spending over the next few years."

The poll delved deeper into specific aspects of the agreement and found support for spending cuts but opposition to the lack of tax increases for wealthy Americans. Specifically,

  • 65 percent approve of $1 trillion in cuts in government spending over the next 10 years (30 percent opposed)
  • 60 percent disapprove of the fact that the agreement does not include any tax increases for businesses or higher-income Americans

The survey also included an unusual question that dramatizes the way Americans feel about the overall debate. More than three out of four respondents said elected officials in Washington that have dealt with the debt ceiling debate have behaved "mostly like spoiled children" (77 percent) rather than "responsible adults" (17 percent).

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The deal to raise the debt limit in exchange for trillions of dollars in spending cuts is \"the best shot\" Republicans have to pass a balanced budget amendment, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Monday.

Although they remained silent over wheth...Read More"},{"id":"497","created":"08/01/2011 3:59 PM EDT","title":"Biden Tells Democrats: Pass The Debt Deal And We Can Get Back To Jobs","tweet_link":"497_biden-tells-democrats-pass-the-debt-deal-and-we-can-get-back-to-jobs","entry_text":"

Vice President Joseph Biden on Monday emerged from a two-hour meeting with the House Democratic Caucus \"confident\" that the bipartisan debt deal on the table will pass Congress.

During brief remarks to reporters, Biden said he didn't have to make a hard sell to Democrats on the debt proposal, although many lawmakers exited the meeting expressing skepticism, concern and downright anger over the deal struck Sunday night between the White House and Hill leaders.

\"Look, I didn't go to convince. I went to explain,\" Biden said.

The vice president said he could understand how Democrats could feel thrown under the bus by the deal. It essentially gives Republicans everything they want—major spending cuts, no revenues and a later vote on entitlement reform—and hands Obama a victory by raising the debt ceiling through 2013. Democrats didn't get any of their priorities in the bill, namely revenues via cutting corporate tax loopholes and ending subsidies to the oil and gas industry.

Biden said he told Democrats \"the truth of the matter is\" that Republicans used the debt limit vote \"as the means by which, unless certain compromises were made, we would default on our debt.\" But the \"one overwhelming redeeming feature\" for Democrats, he said, is that it finally puts to bed the argument over raising the debt limit, which allows lawmakers to move to other pressing matters.

\"We have to get this out of the way to get to the issue of growing the economy,\" Biden said. \"The moment this passes -- if it passes -- and is signed into law, we will be talking about nothing from [Republicans], but about jobs.\"

He added that the deal does nothing to prevent Democrats from continuing to fund priorities like infrastructure investment and education via the regular appropriations process.

\"There is room within the budget to fund those priorities,\" Biden said. \"But it's going to be in what would ordinarily be a normal political battle, rather than sitting there and saying, 'By the way, if you don't do this, we're going to let the economy of the United States default.' \"

-- Jennifer Bendery

WATCH:

","short_text":"

Vice President Joseph Biden on Monday emerged from a two-hour meeting with the House Democratic Caucus \"confident\" that the bipartisan debt deal on the table will pass Congress.

During brief remarks to reporters, Biden said he didn't have to make...Read More"},{"id":"496","created":"08/01/2011 3:58 PM EDT","title":"Harry Reid Pines For His Pomegranates","tweet_link":"496_harry-reid-pines-for-his-pomegranates","entry_text":"

The unemployed aren't the only ones suffering from the debt deal -- the senators who are voting for it apparently are getting homesick.

Harry Reid in particular misses his figs and pomegranate trees, he said in a Senate floor speech.

\"For me personally, I've been here for a long time. I have a home in Nevada that I haven't seen in months,\" Reid said. \"My pomegranate trees are, I'm told, blossoming and have some pomegranates on them.\"

\"I have some fig trees and roses and things that I just haven't seen,\" the Senate majority leader added. \"So I have constituents that I'm anxious to see, friends I need to visit with, relatives I need to visit with. So as soon as we can complete our work, I'd like to move as quickly as I can to the summer recess period.\"

Reid was inspired to wax nostalgic by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who preceded Reid on the floor, holding up a poster of a 40-pound salmon that his 9-year-old son caught.

\"You know, I'm here and I wish I was home, to be very frank with you,\" said Begich, who admitted that he had to miss his family's celebration of the boy's birthday last weekend. \"As a parent, you know, every birthday is huge, makes a difference.\"

\"While I'm here, they were enjoying life,\" Begich said, explaining that his son texted the photo. Begich was so moved he had it printed up and brought it out to the floor to make a point about how leaders like himself and Reid have to \"suck it up\" on the debt deal.

As Begich explained, his son had picked up that phrase somewhere, and he thought it summed up the Senate debt deal debates.

That's because the photo of the fish and his son -- caught by his wife and the boy just a few days ago while Begich wrestled with the debt impasse -- reminded him of one of the boy's sayings.

\"Is it a perfect solution? No. Does it have some issues that I'm still concerned about? It's going to be tough, and we'll get criticism for things we could have done, but we are where we are and we need to move forward,\" Begich explained. \"As my son would say, we just got to 'suck it up, buttercup.'\"

If all goes well, the votes will be done by Tuesday, and Begich will be catching salmon with Jacob, and Reid will be enjoying his figs. And the unemployed will have to wait, at least until mid-September, when Congress returns and starts thinking about them again.

-- Mike McAuliff

","short_text":"

The unemployed aren't the only ones suffering from the debt deal -- the senators who are voting for it apparently are getting homesick.

Harry Reid in particular misses his figs and pomegranate ...Read More"},{"id":"495","created":"08/01/2011 3:48 PM EDT","title":"Police Pin Screaming Protester To The Ground","tweet_link":"495_police-pin-screaming-protester-to-the-ground","entry_text":"

\n\n\"jbendery\"\n\n\n@ jbendery :\nCapitol Police pinning screaming protester on the ground, shouting to everyone the hallway is closed #debt http://twitpic.com/5zha2b\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jbendery :\nCapitol Police pinning screaming protester on the ground, shouting to everyone the hallway is closed #debt Read More"},{"id":"494","created":"08/01/2011 3:45 PM EDT","title":"Local Leader Reacts To Deal","tweet_link":"494_local-leader-reacts-to-deal","entry_text":"

Bed-Stuy Patch's C. Zawadi Morris reports from New York:

Colvin Grannum, president and CEO of The Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (BSRC), points to slow economic growth beginning during the Bush presidency, coupled with the Bush tax cuts, for the long term national debt. He says the logical federal government response would have been to invest in growing the economy by creating jobs and generate more tax revenue by taking away tax benefit from big business such as subsidies for oil companies and corporate jets and to reduce military spending. \n...\n\"The Republican argument that we should cut domestic investing and spending carried the day at least for now,\" said Grannum. \"Over the next ten years, $2.4 trillion dollars will be cut from the federal budget. This will hurt communities across the nation but especially communities like Bedford Stuyvesant which have high unemployment and poverty rates and depend on government investment to jumpstart business, create jobs, improve education, and support the social safety net for poor and low income families.\"

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

Bed-Stuy Patch's C. Zawadi Morris reports from New York:

Colvin Grannum, president and CEO of ...Read More"},{"id":"493","created":"08/01/2011 3:26 PM EDT","title":"House To Vote Around 6:30 P.M.","tweet_link":"493_house-to-vote-around-630-pm","entry_text":"

\n\n\"ChadPergram\"\n\n\n@ ChadPergram :\nHouse will begin actual debate on the debt bill sometime after 4:30. Final vote around 6:30 pm\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ ChadPergram :\nHouse will begin actual debate on the debt bill sometime after 4:30. Final vote around 6:30 pm\n"},{"id":"492","created":"08/01/2011 3:23 PM EDT","title":"Protesters Arrested In House Gallery","tweet_link":"492_protesters-arrested-in-house-gallery","entry_text":"
\n\n\"elise_foley\"\n\n\n@ elise_foley :\nProtesters arrested outside the House gallery for chanting \"Boehner Boehner get a clue, it's about revenue.\"\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ elise_foley :\nProtesters arrested outside the House gallery for chanting \"Boehner Boehner get a clue, it's about revenue.\"\n...Read More"},{"id":"491","created":"08/01/2011 3:22 PM EDT","title":"Boehner Says He's Got The Votes","tweet_link":"491_boehner-says-hes-got-the-votes","entry_text":"
\n\n\"rickklein\"\n\n\n@ rickklein :\nSpeaker Boehner tells @dianesawyer he's got the votes...\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ rickklein :\nSpeaker Boehner tells @dianesawyer he's got the votes...\n"},{"id":"490","created":"08/01/2011 3:20 PM EDT","title":"Dem Leadership Aide: 'We Are Not Whipping'","tweet_link":"490_dem-leadership-aide-we-are-not-whipping","entry_text":"
\n\n\"samsteinhp\"\n\n\n@ samsteinhp :\nDem Leadership aide on House vote: \"We are not whipping, we are doing a leadership survey to see where members are.\"\n
\n\n\"TPM\"\n\n\n@ TPM :\nHouse Dem leadership not whipping for debt deal, advised members to vote with their \"conscience.\"\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ samsteinhp :\nDem Leadership aide on House vote: \"We are not whipping, we are doing a leadership survey to see where members are.\"\n...Read More"},{"id":"489","created":"08/01/2011 2:41 PM EDT","title":"Issa Says House Will Pass The Deal","tweet_link":"489_issa-says-house-will-pass-the-deal","entry_text":"
\n\n\"JNSmall\"\n\n\n@ JNSmall :\nIssa says the deal will pass the House w/ more than 300 votes\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ JNSmall :\nIssa says the deal will pass the House w/ more than 300 votes\n"},{"id":"488","created":"08/01/2011 2:40 PM EDT","title":"Biden On Meeting: 'I Didn't Go To Convince, I Went To Explain'","tweet_link":"488_biden-on-meeting-i-didnt-go-to-convince-i-went-to-explain","entry_text":"
\n\n\"jbendery\"\n\n\n@ jbendery :\nBiden tells reporters after 2-hr mtg w/House Dems: \"Look, I didn't go to convince, I went to explain.\"
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jbendery :\nBiden tells reporters after 2-hr mtg w/House Dems: \"Look, I didn't go to convince, I went to explain.\" "},{"id":"487","created":"08/01/2011 2:27 PM EDT","title":"Does The House Have The Votes?","tweet_link":"487_does-the-house-have-the-votes","entry_text":"
\n\n\"jbendery\"\n\n\n@ jbendery :\nPelosi, on if the House has the votes: \"You'll have to ask the Speaker, he's in the majority.\" #debt\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jbendery :\nPelosi, on if the House has the votes: \"You'll have to ask the Speaker, he's in the majority.\" #debt\n"},{"id":"486","created":"08/01/2011 2:24 PM EDT","title":"Northern Virginia Politicians React To Deal","tweet_link":"486_northern-virginia-politicians-react-to-deal","entry_text":"

Bellehaven Patch's Mary Ann Barton reports from Virginia:

\"Better than nothing\" might be the best way to describe Northern Virginia politicians' reactions Monday to President Obama's Sunday evening announcement that a deal has been struck to raise the debt ceiling and reduce federal spending over the next 10 years.\n...\nVirginia Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-11th): \"There's something in this deal for everyone to hate,\" he said from the Capitol rotunda. \"It is what we have and we're on the brink of a catastrophic default if we don't act,\" he told Fox5 this morning. He also took to his Twitter feed: \"Reports of a $3t deal but scant details. Bipartisan commission and automatic triggers. No official word yet. One day to go.\"

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

Bellehaven Patch's Mary Ann Barton reports from Virginia:

\"Better than nothing\" might be the best way to describe ...Read More"},{"id":"485","created":"08/01/2011 2:21 PM EDT","title":"Rep. Moran: Debt Deal 'Awful'","tweet_link":"485_rep-moran-debt-deal-awful","entry_text":"

\n\n\"jbendery\"\n\n\n@ jbendery :\nDem Rep. Moran on debt deal: \"Awful.\" Will likely mean 1M more pvt sector jobs lost.\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jbendery :\nDem Rep. Moran on debt deal: \"Awful.\" Will likely mean 1M more pvt sector jobs lost.\n"},{"id":"484","created":"08/01/2011 2:08 PM EDT","title":"Progressives Line Up Against Deal","tweet_link":"484_progressives-line-up-against-deal","entry_text":"

Progressives are extremely displeased with the debt deal, and one group, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, is reminding people that it has 200,000 Obama donors/volunteers who have signed a pledge not to work for Democrats who let Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid get cut.

PCCC co-founder Adam Green hammers the deal like this:

This deal will kill our economy and is an attack on middle-class families. It asks nothing of the rich, will reduce middle-class jobs, and lines up Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid for cuts. Today, we're putting in thousands of calls to Congress urging Democrats to keep their promise and oppose this awful bill. The 14th Amendment is unambiguous, and President Obama should invoke it to pay our nation's debt. Then Democrats should focus on jobs -- not cuts -- in order to grow our economy.

-- Mike McAuliff

","short_text":"

Progressives are extremely displeased with the debt deal, and one group, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, is reminding people that it has 200,000 Obama donors/volunteers who have signed a pledge not to work for Democrats who let Social Security, ...Read More"},{"id":"483","created":"08/01/2011 1:15 PM EDT","title":"Harry Reid: Can't Promise Senate Vote Tonight","tweet_link":"483_harry-reid-cant-promise-senate-vote-tonight","entry_text":"

Harry Reid briefed reporters on the current state of the debt ceiling deal Monday afternoon, saying that the House will vote on the bill sometimes this evening, and that he's hopeful the Senate will be able to as well, though he couldn't promise it.

Asked if there is a need of comprehensive deficit reform, Reid said \"Not only yes, but hell yes.\"

“I think that's enough,\" Reid said at the end of his remarks. \"I've been standing for two hours. I feel like I'm 25, but I'm not.”

","short_text":"

Harry Reid briefed reporters on the current state of the debt ceiling deal Monday afternoon, saying that the House will vote on the bill sometimes this evening, and that he's hopeful the Senate will be able to as well, though he couldn't promise it.Read More"},{"id":"482","created":"08/01/2011 1:08 PM EDT","title":"Club For Growth Opposes Deal","tweet_link":"482_club-for-growth-opposes-deal","entry_text":"

Club for Growth VP of Government Affairs Andrew Roth wrote in an email Monday:

The Club for Growth strongly opposes the most recent version of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that was negotiated by the White House and congressional leaders. We expect a vote on this proposal will take place in both chambers as early as today. This vote will be included in the Club for Growth's 2011 Congressional Scorecard.

The problems with this proposal are many, but fiscal conservatives should have obvious concerns for the lack of guaranteed future spending cuts, no requirement that a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution be sent to the states, a commission that could still recommend job-killing tax increases, and worse of all, two debt limit increases totaling over $2 trillion within only a matter of months.

As we’ve said before regarding previous underwhelming debt ceiling bills, this simply doesn't fix the country's fiscal problems. We strongly oppose it and we urge a NO vote.

","short_text":"

Club for Growth VP of Government Affairs Andrew Roth wrote in an email Monday:

The Club for Growth strongly opposes the most recent version of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that was negotiated by the White House and congressional lea...Read More"},{"id":"481","created":"08/01/2011 12:57 PM EDT","title":"Third Way: Deal Is A Necessary First Step","tweet_link":"481_third-way-deal-is-a-necessary-first-step","entry_text":"

Third Way President Jonathan Cowan issued the following statement Monday in support of the debt ceiling deal:

\"The deal announced last night by President Obama and leaders in Congress will avert a short-term economic calamity, and it will serve as a necessary step toward grappling with our budget deficit. We urge Congress to pass it.

\"But this deal is just a first step, and no one should declare ‘mission accomplished.’ As Third Way has said from the beginning of this debate, the only way to avert a long-term fiscal crisis is a grand bargain. The deal pending before Congress gets us part of the way there by making real spending reforms on both the defense and domestic sides of the ledger.

\"But to finish the job, the next steps toward such a bargain must involve tough choices on both sides – Republicans must be willing to throw out their pledges and support an increase in revenues; Democrats must tell their core supporters that the only way to save entitlements like Medicare and Social Security is to reform them. Both options must be on the table immediately, and neither side should view their absence in the current deal as an opportunity to declare them off-limits. A grand bargain is the only way for the United States to avoid a downgrade, get our fiscal house in order and protect crucial investments so that we can secure long-term growth. It will be difficult. But in the coming months, Congress must decide if we are to be a AAA or a AA nation.

\"The most heartening thing about this deal is that after months of bitterness and rigidity, it reflects genuine compromise. In an era of divided government, principled compromise cannot be a dirty word. No one thinks this deal is perfect, meaning that, for now at least, negotiators have arrived at an agreement worth building on.\"

","short_text":"

Third Way President Jonathan Cowan issued the following statement Monday in support of the debt ceiling deal:

\"The deal announced last night by President Obama and leaders in Congress will avert a short-term economic calamity, and it ...Read More"},{"id":"480","created":"08/01/2011 12:54 PM EDT","title":"MoveOn Blasts Debt Ceiling Deal","tweet_link":"480_moveon-blasts-debt-ceiling-deal","entry_text":"

Following up on their criticism from Sunday morning, MoveOn.org, the progressive advocacy group, released a statement Monday calling the debt ceiling agreement a \"bad deal\":

\"This is a bad deal for our fragile economic recovery, a bad deal for the middle class and a bad deal for tackling our real long-term budget problems\" said MoveOn Executive Director Justin Ruben. \"It forces deep cuts to important programs that protect the middle class, but asks nothing of big corporations and millionaires. And though it does not require cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid benefits, it opens the door for these down the road via an unaccountable Congressional committee.

\"We surveyed our 5 million members and the vast majority oppose the deal because it unfairly asks seniors and the middle class to bear the burden of the debt deal. Congress should do what it should have done long ago and what it has done dozens of times before -- pass a clean debt ceiling bill.\"

","short_text":"

Following up on their criticism from Sunday morning, MoveOn.org, the progressive advo...Read More"},{"id":"479","created":"08/01/2011 12:41 PM EDT","title":"Sens. Lee, Graham Will Vote Against Deal","tweet_link":"479_sens-lee-graham-will-vote-against-deal","entry_text":"

Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) said on Monday they plan to vote against the compromise debt limit increase because of its potential cuts to defense spending.

\"I'll be voting no,\" Graham said, although adding the bill's spending cuts are a step in the right direction. \"I just think we're compromising our defense infrastructure and not really changing the fiscal problems that we have as a nation.\"

Lee also said he is concerned about defense cuts as part of the bill, which could be triggered if the \"super Congress\" plan to cut spending is not passed. Lee said he has to oppose the bill because it does not require passage of a balanced budget amendment. (The bill does require a vote on such an amendment.)

\"I can't vote for it because ... before I even got here, I told my constituents I wouldn't vote for a debt limit increase that wasn't accompanied by passage of a balanced budget amendment,\" he told reporters.

Still, he said he suspects the bill will pass Congress.

Another freshman Republican, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) remained silent on whether he would oppose the bill, saying he needs to review it first.

-- Elise Foley

","short_text":"

Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) said on Monday they plan to vote against the compromise debt limit increase because of its potential cuts to defense spending.

\"I'll be voting no,\" Graham said, although adding the bill's spendin...Read More"},{"id":"478","created":"08/01/2011 12:27 PM EDT","title":"Pelosi Undecided","tweet_link":"478_pelosi-undecided","entry_text":"

\n\n\"ReutersPolitics\"\n\n\n@ ReutersPolitics :\nFLASH: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says she's undecided on #debt limit bill, cites concerns about lack of new revenues\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ ReutersPolitics :\nFLASH: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says she's undecided on #debt limit bill, cites concerns a...Read More"},{"id":"477","created":"08/01/2011 12:24 PM EDT","title":"House To Vote Before Senate","tweet_link":"477_house-to-vote-before-senate","entry_text":"
\n\n\"PoliticalTicker\"\n\n\n@ PoliticalTicker :\nBREAKING: House to vote before Senate on raising debt ceiling http://bit.ly/phXGWa\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ PoliticalTicker :\nBREAKING: House to vote before Senate on raising debt ceiling http://bi...Read More"},{"id":"476","created":"08/01/2011 12:14 PM EDT","title":"Key Group Left Out Of The Deal","tweet_link":"476_key-group-left-out-of-the-deal","entry_text":"

HuffPost's Arthur Delaney reports:

The long-term unemployed have been left out of a deal between congressional negotiators and the White House to enact massive spending cuts and raise the nation's debt ceiling before its borrowing limit is reached on Tuesday.

Under the so-called grand bargain President Obama tried to strike with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), federal unemployment benefits would have been extended beyond January 2012, when they are set to expire.

But those negotiations collapsed in July. On Sunday, congressional leaders and the administration crafted a not-so-grand bargain that will cut spending without raising taxes or preserving stimulus programs like federal unemployment insurance.

Asked Sunday night why spending to help the unemployed had been left out of the deal, a White House official said, \"because it had to be part of a bigger deal to be part of this.\"

Read more here.

","short_text":"

HuffPost's Arthur Delaney reports:

The long-term unemployed have been left out of a deal between congressional negotiat...Read More"},{"id":"475","created":"08/01/2011 12:08 PM EDT","title":"CBO: Bill Would Reduce Deficit By $2.1 Trillion ","tweet_link":"475_cbo-bill-would-reduce-deficit-by-21-trillion-","entry_text":"

The compromise debt deal would reduce the deficit by $2.1 trillion over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday.

Congress is likely to vote Monday on the debt limit deal, which would raise the debt ceiling ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline.

The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan agency that scores bills for cost and savings, reported the bill would trim $917 billion from the deficit as part of its original cuts, and then an additional $1.2 trillion in savings from recommendations made by a super committee of 12 senators and representatives who will propose cuts to defense and entitlement programs.

The bill will cut approximately the same amount as plans put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) last week.

CBO reports the Budget Control Act would cap spending at $1,043 billion in 2012 and $1,234 billion by 2021, with separate caps on security and non-security budget authority for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. Effectively, that would mean caps on all discretionary spending for the next decade.

Here are some of the budgetary changes:

  • Social Security Administration -- Benefit outlays for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid would fall by nearly $12 billion between 2012 and 2021, CBO reported.

  • Health care fraud and abuse control -- CBO estimated that benefit outlays for Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program would have about $3.7 billion in savings over the next decade.

  • Direct spending for education -- The bill would amend the Higher Education Act and the Federal Student Loan program, increasing direct spending by $7.4 billion from 2012 to 2016, CBO reported. Overall, though, there would be $4.6 billion in savings over the next decade.

  • Pell grants -- CBO reported the bill would increase spending on Pell grants by $10 billion for the 2012 fiscal year and $7 billion for 2013.

  • Student loans -- By eliminating the subsidized loan program for graduate students and loan repayment incentives, the bill cuts $21.6 billion over the next decade in student loan direct spending, CBO estimated.

Read the full CBO report here.

-- Elise Foley

","short_text":"

The compromise debt deal would reduce the deficit by $2.1 trillion over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office reported Monday.

Congress is likely to vote Monday on the debt limit deal, which would raise the debt ceiling ahead of the A...Read More"},{"id":"474","created":"08/01/2011 12:06 PM EDT","title":"Debt Ceiling Deal Paves Way For Potentially Historic Lobbying Campaign","tweet_link":"474_debt-ceiling-deal-paves-way-for-potentially-historic-lobbying-campaign","entry_text":"

HuffPost's Sam Stein reports:

The super committee established under the still-to-be-passed debt ceiling deal has been granted immense powers to make its recommendations law. But that doesn't mean grand bargain of sorts is summarily off the table, even if the 12 committee members get stuck or Congress ends up rejecting their suggestions.

According to the structure of the debt ceiling deal, lawmakers will have another year to find approximately $1.5 trillion in cuts through normal procedures, before so-called triggers go into effect to achieve those cuts on behalf of hesitant lawmakers.

\"If the committee deadlocks or they put something out that doesn't pass Congress ... before the [trigger] hit they could pass another package of equal savings,\" said a White House official during a briefing on Sunday night. \"So it puts pressure on people. The trigger is looming.\"

\"Now, you don't have the benefit of fast-track authority at that point,\" the official added, referencing the procedural powers that the super committee would enjoy. \"It has to go through regular order. But [at that point] you can resuscitate what Speaker [John Boehner] and the President were doing. They can come to that deal, get that passed and that would avoid the [triggers], or [they could do the] Gang of Six [deal].\"

The several paths to further deficit reduction mean the political conversation could very well revolve around the topics of entitlement and tax reform for the next year and a half -- sucking the oxygen away from other issues. Some lawmakers may end up passing on the super committee's recommendations, believing they can get a better deal down in the next year. That could mean the main forces affected by the potential trigger -- the defense lobby and health care industry -- will have extra time to engage in a lobbying campaign to ensure that their priorities aren't threatened.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

HuffPost's Sam Stein reports:

The super committee established under the still-to-be-passed debt ...Read More"},{"id":"473","created":"08/01/2011 12:00 PM EDT","title":"President Discusses Deal In Campaign Web Video","tweet_link":"473_president-discusses-deal-in-campaign-web-video","entry_text":"

One day after the White House and top congressional lawmakers announced a deal to raise the debt ceiling, the president's reelection campaign released a web video to supporters in which Obama discusses the agreement.

Below, the clip released by the Obama campaign.

WATCH:

","short_text":"

One day after the White House and top congressional lawmakers announced a deal to raise the debt ceiling, the president's reelection campaign released a Read More"},{"id":"472","created":"08/01/2011 11:50 AM EDT","title":"At Least No Senators Were Beaten With A Cane","tweet_link":"472_at-least-no-senators-were-beaten-with-a-cane","entry_text":"

With widespread discontent over the debt deal on the left and right, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to the Senate floor Monday to argue that things haven’t been so bad lately.

“Over the years things have been much worse than they have been in Washington in the last three months,\" Reid said, trying to bring some perspective to an heated political atmosphere.

For instance, he said,no one’s been crippled in a beating with a cane on the Senate floor.

“In the early days of our country, there was conflict that went on all the time,” Reid said, before bringing up the Civil War and the infamous case of Sen. Charles Sumner, who was attacked in the Senate chamber by pro-slavery Rep. Preston Brooks in 1856.

\"Congressman Brooks came to the floor, came to the Senate with his cane and beat Sen. Sumner, beat him with his cane,\" Reid said. \"Sen. Sumner never really recovered. He was off work for a couple of years. He had permanent disability as a result of the beating he took on the Senate floor.\"

\"Historic battles have taken place in our country where they talked, where they were much more difficult than what we have just gone through,\" Reid argued. \"What we have gone through was extremely difficult, but there was never any consideration the republic would fall.\"

Though there were those warnings that a default would be \"lights out\" on the U.S. economy and worse than the Great Depression.

-- Michael McAuliff

","short_text":"

With widespread discontent over the debt deal on the left and right, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to the Senate floor Monday to argue that things haven’t been so bad lately.

“Over the years things have been much worse than ...Read More"},{"id":"471","created":"08/01/2011 11:10 AM EDT","title":"DeMint May Back GOP Primary Challengers","tweet_link":"471_demint-may-back-gop-primary-challengers","entry_text":"

The Hill reports:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) may back primary challengers to incumbent Republican senators after all.

DeMint had promised after last year's election that he would not endorse any opponents to his fellow Republican senators, but is angry enough with the debt ceiling compromise that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner struck with President Obama that he may back serious challengers to Republican senators who support the plan, according to a source close to the senator.

","short_text":"

The Hill reports:

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) may back primary challengers...Read More"},{"id":"470","created":"08/01/2011 11:08 AM EDT","title":"Romney, Pawlenty Oppose Debt Deal","tweet_link":"470_romney-pawlenty-oppose-debt-deal","entry_text":"

HuffPost's Jon Ward reports:

Republican presidential primary front-runner Mitt Romney rejected the debt ceiling deal reached over the weekend, saying it will lead to tax increases and cuts in military spending.

\"As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced -- not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table,\" Romney said in a statement.

\"President Obama's leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama's lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal,\" Romney said.

[...]

Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant issued a statement condemning, but not explicitly rejecting, the deal.

“This deal is nothing to celebrate. Only in Washington would the political class think it's a victory when the government narrowly avoids default, agrees to go further into debt, and does little to reform a spending system that cannot be sustained by our children and grandchildren,\" Conant said. \"While no further evidence was needed, this entire debt ceiling fiasco demonstrates that President Obama must be replaced.\"

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

HuffPost's Jon Ward reports:

Republican presidential primary front-runner Mitt Romney rejected the debt ceiling ...Read More"},{"id":"469","created":"08/01/2011 11:08 AM EDT","title":"A Tale Of Two Washingtons","tweet_link":"469_a-tale-of-two-washingtons","entry_text":"

The Guardian's Ewen MacAskill reports:

Fifteen minutes away by car on the other side of the Anacostia river is Anacostia, a 92% African-American neighbourhood that few tourists visit. Its Ward Eight is one of the poorest areas in the US, with the highest unemployment rate in the country.

Residents interviewed last week said they regarded the showdown in Congress as failing to address their concerns: the hunt for largely nonexistent jobs and their daily battles with poverty.

But, while the debt crisis might seem irrelevant to them, the truth is it is likely to affect their daily lives in a far more devastating way than it will any of the politicians who will line up to cast their votes in Congress on Sunday night.

Read more here.

","short_text":"

The Guardian's Ewen MacAskill reports:

Fifteen minutes away by car on the other side of the Anacostia river is Anacost...Read More"},{"id":"468","created":"08/01/2011 11:05 AM EDT","title":"Tea Party Coalition Rejects Debt Deal For Not Rewriting Constitution ","tweet_link":"468_tea-party-coalition-rejects-debt-deal-for-not-rewriting-constitution-","entry_text":"

A coalition of hundreds of Tea Party chapters and more than 50 conservative lawmakers are opposing the debt deal struck between the White House and Congressional leaders because it doesn't meet their criteria for a balanced budget amendment.

\"The most glaring shortcoming is that the second debt ceiling increase in this package isn't tied directly to Congressional approval of a balanced budget amendment as a pre-condition,\" reads a Monday statement from the Cut, Cap and Balance Coalition.

\"The Cut, Cap, Balance Coalition will not support this bill because it clearly fails to meet the standards of the Cut Cap Balance Pledge,\" continues the statement. The group's pledge, which 51 lawmakers have signed, includes endorsements from Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Allen West (R-Fla.), as well as Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and David Vitter (R-La.).

The coalition instead calls for revisiting the Cut, Cap and Balance Act put forward by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). That proposal, which crashed and burned in the Senate, is built on the coalition's three criteria for a deal: major spending cuts, enforceable spending caps and a constitutional amendment requiring Congress to balance its books each year.

-- Jennifer Bendery

","short_text":"

A coalition of hundreds of Tea Party chapters and more than 50 conservative lawmakers are opposing the debt deal struck between the White House and Congressional leaders because it doesn't meet their criteria for a balanced budget amendment.

\"The...Read More"},{"id":"467","created":"08/01/2011 10:36 AM EDT","title":"Florida Residents Express Dismay","tweet_link":"467_florida-residents-express-dismay","entry_text":"

Brandon Patch's Linda Chion Kenney reports from Florida:

A government held captive by certain interests, that held “the debt ceiling hostage,” is what brought Tim Heberlein to the University of South Florida campus at sundown July 31.

More specifically, it brought Heberlein and a group of about 30 candle-holding citizens to the offices of Senator Marco Rubio, where outside they gave witness to their dismay over the debt-ceiling impasse.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

Brandon Patch's Linda Chion Kenney reports from Florida:

A government held captive by certain inte...Read More"},{"id":"466","created":"08/01/2011 10:14 AM EDT","title":"Biden Meeting With House, Senate Leaders","tweet_link":"466_biden-meeting-with-house-senate-leaders","entry_text":"

\n\n\"Jordanfabian\"\n\n\n@ Jordanfabian :\n.@VP Biden will hold separate meetings with Senate and House Democratic leaders at the Capitol beginning at 11 a.m.\n
","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ Jordanfabian :\n.@VP Biden will hold separate meetings with Senate and House Democratic lea...Read More"},{"id":"465","created":"08/01/2011 10:06 AM EDT","title":"Axelrod: 'Everyone Suffers Politically'","tweet_link":"465_axelrod-everyone-suffers-politically","entry_text":"

The Washington Post quotes Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod on the potential fallout from the deal ceiling deal:

\"In the short term, everyone suffers politically,\" Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod said in a recent interview. \"In the long term, I think the Republicans have done terrible damage to their brand. Because now they’re thoroughly defined by their most strident voices.\"

","short_text":"

The Washington Post quotes Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod on the potential fallout<...Read More"},{"id":"464","created":"08/01/2011 9:56 AM EDT","title":"McCain: 'I Will Probably Have To Swallow Hard'","tweet_link":"464_mccain-i-will-probably-have-to-swallow-hard","entry_text":"

Sen. John McCain tells CBS's \"The Early Show\" that he'll vote for compromise legislation averting a government default, although \"I will probably have to swallow hard.\"

","short_text":"

Sen. John McCain tells CBS's \"The Early Show\" that he'll vote for compromise legislation averting a government default, although \"I will...Read More"},{"id":"463","created":"08/01/2011 8:54 AM EDT","title":"David Plouffe Weighs In On Agreement","tweet_link":"463_david-plouffe-weighs-in-on-agreement","entry_text":"

The AP reports:

A top adviser to President Barack Obama said Monday the new deal to avoid a government default lifts a big cloud over the economy, even if the country had to first endure a \"three-ring circus\" in Washington.

Appearing on morning news shows, senior aide David Plouffe acknowledged that there were key elements of a compromise that eluded the White House and Obama. He said, for example, that the administration will continue to push for new tax revenues.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The AP reports:

A top adviser to President Barack Obama said Monday the new deal to avoid a governme...Read More"},{"id":"462","created":"08/01/2011 8:53 AM EDT","title":"Both Sides Emerge Bruised","tweet_link":"462_both-sides-emerge-bruised","entry_text":"

The New York Times reports:

The president, with his re-election on the horizon, emerges from the showdown in a diminished state after giving considerable ground and struggling to rise above a deep partisan intransigence that has engulfed Washington. And Republican leaders, especially Speaker John A. Boehner, are bruised after navigating the intractable sentiment of the Tea Party movement.
\n...\nThe president can no longer make the argument that he has changed the way Washington works — Mr. Obama’s Washington, in fact, has looked even worse than previous eras — but his advisers hope he will still come across as the more reasonable alternative, and the only way to put a check on a conservative movement seeking a wholesale redefinition of the proper role of government.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The New York Times reports:

The president, with his re-election on the horizon, emerges from the showdown in a diminished state after ...Read More"},{"id":"461","created":"08/01/2011 8:51 AM EDT","title":"Smirks, Shrugs, Shaking Heads Meet News Of Deal","tweet_link":"461_smirks-shrugs-shaking-heads-meet-news-of-deal","entry_text":"

The AP reports:

Americans seem relieved that the wrangling over the debt limit is over. But for the deal itself – not so much.

People around the country had a range of reactions to the agreement hammered out Sunday by the president and top lawmakers, but mild disappointment with an occasional touch of sympathy were about as positive as they got.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

The AP reports:

Americans seem relieved that the wrangling over the debt limit is over. But for the deal itself – not s...Read More"},{"id":"460","created":"07/31/2011 11:51 PM EDT","title":"Deal Doesn't Decisively Remove Threat Of Credit Downgrade","tweet_link":"460_deal-doesnt-decisively-remove-threat-of-credit-downgrade","entry_text":"

Reuters reports:

The tentative U.S. deal to avoid a crushing debt default is at best a mild relief for the U.S. economy that nearly stalled in the first half of the year and has yet to show signs of any realistic pickup.\n...\nStill, it does not decisively remove the threat that the nation's AAA credit rating could be downgraded, an action that would raise borrowing costs across the board, and the prospect of further cuts ahead will cut short any celebrating.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

Reuters reports:

The tentative U.S. deal to avoid a crushing debt default is...Read More"},{"id":"459","created":"07/31/2011 11:19 PM EDT","title":"GOP Senator Threatens To Filibuster Deal","tweet_link":"459_gop-senator-threatens-to-filibuster-deal","entry_text":"

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told CNN on Sunday night that he intends to filibuster the agreement reached between the White House and top congressional lawmakers to raise the debt ceiling.

","short_text":"

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) Read More"},{"id":"458","created":"07/31/2011 10:52 PM EDT","title":"Dem Source: The Deal Came Down To Defense Cuts","tweet_link":"458_dem-source-the-deal-came-down-to-defense-cuts","entry_text":"

The deal to raise the debt cap nearly came apart over defense spending cuts, but Republicans relented at the last minute.

Here's how a Senate leadership aide laid it out:

One of the final sticking points this evening was the issue of how to ensure the domestic discretionary spending cuts in FY12 and FY13 would be spread out across both defense and non-defense programs.

House Republicans started out insisting on a “freeze” of defense spending so that the entirety of the reductions would fall on the non-defense side. This would have imposed a disproportionate share of the burden on important domestic programs such as education and medical research. Democrats insisted on imposing a “firewall” that would ensure that any attempts to increase defense spending could not be done at the expense of domestic discretionary programs.

House Republicans balked at the firewall idea when it was first proposed by Senate Democratic leadership staff and the majority staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee almost two weeks ago. In response, Senate Democrats offered a compromise: if House Republicans would accept the firewall in concept, Senate Democrats would allow for other forms of security-related spending (State Department/Foreign Operations, Homeland Security, Military Construction/Veterans Affairs) to be grouped together on one side of the firewall along with Pentagon funding. As part of this condition, the total annual reduction in spending would be split evenly between the security side of the firewall and the non-security side of the firewall.

This proposal was at first accepted by Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office, but then later rejected. In the end, in a decision that paved the way for a deal with the Obama administration and Senate Democrats, the Speaker’s office returned to the same firewall compromise that House Republicans had earlier rejected.

As a result, out of the $7 billion in domestic discretionary cuts taking effect in FY12, at least half will come from “security”-side funding. For FY13, roughly half of the $3 trillion in cuts will come from “security”-side funding.

","short_text":"

The deal to raise the debt cap nearly came apart over defense spending cuts, but Republicans relented at the last minute.

Here's how a Senate leadership aide laid it out:

One of the final sticking points this evening was the iss...Read More"},{"id":"457","created":"07/31/2011 10:38 PM EDT","title":"Debt Ceiling Deal That Cuts Trillions, Creates 'Super Congress' Announced By Party Leaders","tweet_link":"457_debt-ceiling-deal-that-cuts-trillions-creates-super-congress-announced-by-party-leaders","entry_text":"

HuffPost's Michael McAuliff, Sam Stein and Elise Foley report:

Congressional leaders and President Obama on Sunday night announced they've cut a deal to avert a historic U.S. default, saying they have assembled a framework that cuts some spending immediately and uses a \"super Congress\" to slash more in the future.

The deal calls for a first round of cuts that would total $917 billion over 10 years and allows the president to hike the debt cap -- now at $14.3 trillion -- by $900 billion, according to a presentation that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made to his members. Democrats reported those first cuts at a figure closer to $1 trillion.

The federal government could begin to default on its obligations on Aug. 2 if the measure is not passed.

The next round of $1.5 trillion in cuts would be decided by a committee of 12 lawmakers evenly divided between the two parties and two chambers. This so-called super Congress would have to present its cuts by Thanksgiving, and the rest of Congress could not amend or filibuster the recommendations.

Click here to read more.

","short_text":"

HuffPost's Michael McAuliff, Sam Stein and Elise Foley report:

Congressional leaders and President Obama on Sunday nigh...Read More"},{"id":"456","created":"07/31/2011 10:16 PM EDT","title":"Pelosi Does Not Promise Support","tweet_link":"456_pelosi-does-not-promise-support","entry_text":"

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the most negative of the Congressional leaders who weighed in on the deal, and notably did not promise to support it.

\"We all agree that our nation cannot default on our obligations and that we must honor our nation's commitments to our seniors, and our men and women in the military,\" she said in a statement. \"I look forward to reviewing the legislation with my Caucus to see what level of support we can provide.\"

-- Michael McAuliff

","short_text":"

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was the most negative of the Congressional leaders who weighed in on the deal, and notably did not promise to support it.

\"We all agree that our nation cannot default on our obligations and that we mu...Read More"},{"id":"455","created":"07/31/2011 9:43 PM EDT","title":"White House Fact Sheet Lays Out Deal Specifics","tweet_link":"455_white-house-fact-sheet-lays-out-deal-specifics","entry_text":"

A White House fact sheet distributed to reporters shortly after the president spoke laid down the specific elements of Sunday night's deal to raise the debt ceiling:

  • The president will be authorized to increase the debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion, eliminating the need for another increase until 2013.
  • The first tranche of cuts will come in at nearly $1 trillion. That includes savings of $350 billion from the Base Defense Budget, which will be trimmed based off a review of overall U.S. national security policy.
  • A bipartisan committee with enhanced procedural authority will be responsible for pinpointing $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction from both entitlements and tax reform, as well as other spending programs.
  • The committee will have to report out legislation by November 23, 2011.
  • Congress will be required to vote on Committee recommendations by December 23, 2011.
  • \n
  • The trigger mechanism -- should the committee's recommendations not be acted upon -- will be mandatory spending cuts. Those cuts, which will begin in January 2013, will be split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending. Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries and \"low-income programs\" would be exempted from those cuts.

The fact sheet goes on to note that there is another enforcement mechanism that the president possesses.

\"The Bush tax cuts expire as of 1/1/2013, the same date that the spending sequester [the trigger mechanism] would go into effect,\" the fact sheet reads. \"These two events together will force balanced deficit reduction. Absent a balanced deal, it would enable the President to use his veto pen to ensure nearly $1 trillion in additional deficit reduction by not extending the high-income tax cuts.\"

-- Sam Stein

","short_text":"

A White House fact sheet distributed to reporters shortly after the president spoke laid down the specific elements of Sunday night's deal to raise the debt ceiling:

  • The president will be authorized to increase the debt limit by at least $2....Read More"},{"id":"454","created":"07/31/2011 9:39 PM EDT","title":"Cleaver: 'If I Were A Republican, I Would Be Dancing In The Streets'","tweet_link":"454_cleaver-if-i-were-a-republican-i-would-be-dancing-in-the-streets","entry_text":"

    Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, who earlier in the day called the emerging debt ceiling deal a \"sugar-coated Satan sandwich,\" stood by his criticism in an interview with MSNBC following Obama's announcement of the deal.

    \"We lost this early on,\" Cleaver said. \"I came back to Washington at the beginning of the year thinking we were going to create jobs, and we allowed the national discourse to change from jobs to the debt, and so right now there's very little we can do.\"

    \"If I were a Republican, I would be dancing in the streets,\" he said. \"I don't have any idea what the Republicans wanted that they didn't get. And I can't tell you anything that Democrats got out of this deal, except that we're probably going to prevent the nation from crashing.\"

    ","short_text":"

    Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), the leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, who earlier in the day called the emerging debt ceiling deal a Read More"},{"id":"453","created":"07/31/2011 9:26 PM EDT","title":"Biden: 'Compromise Makes A Comback'","tweet_link":"453_biden-compromise-makes-a-comback","entry_text":"

    \n\n\"VP\"\n\n\n@ VP :\nI'm proud of the President. Persistence. Compromise makes a comeback.—VP\n
    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ VP :\nI'm proud of the President. Persistence. Compromise makes a comeback.—VP\n"},{"id":"452","created":"07/31/2011 9:14 PM EDT","title":"Boehner To GOP Conference: 'This Isn’t The Greatest Deal In The World'","tweet_link":"452_boehner-to-gop-conference-this-isnt-the-greatest-deal-in-the-world","entry_text":"

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke with the GOP conference on Sunday evening, telling them, \"there’s no agreement until we’ve talked to you.\"

    He was tepidly positive on the deal, saying it is a victory for the small government principles of the party despite being less than ideal.

    “Now listen, this isn’t the greatest deal in the world,\" he said, according to excerpts of the call provided to press by Boehner's office. \"But it shows how much we’ve changed the terms of the debate in this town.\"

    Boehner painted the deal as victory for the Republican party because it did not include revenues, which Democrats have long called for as part of a final deal.

    \"There is nothing in this framework that violates our principles,\" he said. \"It’s all spending cuts. The White House bid to raise taxes has been shut down.\"

    Boehner's office circulated a Powerpoint presentation called a \"two-step process to hold President Obama accountable\" on Sunday evening that laid out the deal in broad strokes. The presentation touts the absence of tax hikes in the final deal.

    Because the \"super Congress\" will make decisions based on current law, it will be effectively \"impossible for Joint Committee to increase taxes,\" according to the presentation.

    View the full Powerpoint presentation here.

    -- Elise Foley

    ","short_text":"

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke with the GOP conference on Sunday evening, telling them, \"there’s no agreement until we’ve talked to you.\"

    He was tepidly positive on the deal, saying it is a victory for the small government principl...Read More"},{"id":"451","created":"07/31/2011 8:52 PM EDT","title":"Leaders Announce Deal Is In Place","tweet_link":"451_leaders-announce-deal-is-in-place","entry_text":"

    President Obama and leaders of the Senate say they've cut a deal to head off a historic American default.

    \"Leaders from both parties have come together for the sake of our economy to reach a historic, bipartisan compromise that ends this dangerous standoff,\" said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the Senate floor Sunday night.

    \"At this point I think I can say with a high degree of confidence that there is now a framework to review that will ensure significant cuts in Washington spending,\" said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

    \"We can assure the American people tonight that the United States of America will not for the first time in our history default on its obligations,\" McConnell said.

    The were followed quickly by President Obama, who declared that Congress should pass the compromise.

    House Speaker John Boehner was making that case to his members even as the other leaders spoke.

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was set to talk to her caucus in the morning.

    The multiple statement suggested that the deal has enough support in the middle to succeed, but lawmakers on each side could balk at the plan.

    \"To pass this settlement, we’ll need the support of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate. There is no way either party – in either chamber – can do this alone,\" said Reid.

    \"I know this agreement won’t make every Republican happy. It certainly won’t make every Democrat happy, either,\" Reid added. \"Both parties gave more ground than they wanted to. And neither side got as much as it had hoped.\"

    -- Mike McAuliff

    ","short_text":"

    President Obama and leaders of the Senate say they've cut a deal to head off a historic American default.

    \"Leaders from both parties have come together for the sake of our economy to reach a historic, bipartisan compromise that ends this dangerou...Read More"},{"id":"450","created":"07/31/2011 8:48 PM EDT","title":"Obama Announces Deal","tweet_link":"450_obama-announces-deal","entry_text":"

    President Obama announced Sunday night that Congress and the White House had reached agreement on a deal to raise the debt ceiling, which would cut about $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years and create a bipartisan committee to propose further cuts by November.

    \"Is this the deal I would have preferred? No,\" the president said. \"I believe we could have made the tough choices required on entitlement reform and tax reform right now, rather than through a special congressional committee process.\" But the agreement does ensure that the U.S. will not default on its debt obligations, the president announced.

    \"This has been messy, it's taken far too long,\" the president continued. \"Nevertheless, the leaders of both parties have found their way toward compromise, and I want to thank them for that.\"

    \"We're not done yet,\" Obama said. \"I want to urge members of both parties to do the right thing and support this deal.\"

    WATCH:

    A transcript of his remarks is below:

    THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. There are still some very important votes to be taken by members of Congress, but I want to announce that the leaders of both parties, in both chambers, have reached an agreement that will reduce the deficit and avoid default -- a default that would have had a devastating effect on our economy.

    The first part of this agreement will cut about $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years -- cuts that both parties had agreed to early on in this process. The result would be the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was President -- but at a level that still allows us to make job-creating investments in things like education and research. We also made sure that these cuts wouldn’t happen so abruptly that they’d be a drag on a fragile economy.

    Now, I've said from the beginning that the ultimate solution to our deficit problem must be balanced. Despite what some Republicans have argued, I believe that we have to ask the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share by giving up tax breaks and special deductions. Despite what some in my own party have argued, I believe that we need to make some modest adjustments to programs like Medicare to ensure that they’re still around for future generations.

    That's why the second part of this agreement is so important. It establishes a bipartisan committee of Congress to report back by November with a proposal to further reduce the deficit, which will then be put before the entire Congress for an up or down vote. In this stage, everything will be on the table. To hold us all accountable for making these reforms, tough cuts that both parties would find objectionable would automatically go into effect if we don’t act. And over the next few months, I’ll continue to make a detailed case to these lawmakers about why I believe a balanced approach is necessary to finish the job.

    Now, is this the deal I would have preferred? No. I believe that we could have made the tough choices required -- on entitlement reform and tax reform -- right now, rather than through a special congressional committee process. But this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need, and gives each party a strong incentive to get a balanced plan done before the end of the year.

    Most importantly, it will allow us to avoid default and end the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of America. It ensures also that we will not face this same kind of crisis again in six months, or eight months, or 12 months. And it will begin to lift the cloud of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy.

    Now, this process has been messy; it’s taken far too long. I've been concerned about the impact that it has had on business confidence and consumer confidence and the economy as a whole over the last month. Nevertheless, ultimately, the leaders of both parties have found their way toward compromise. And I want to thank them for that.

    Most of all, I want to thank the American people. It’s been your voices -- your letters, your emails, your tweets, your phone calls -- that have compelled Washington to act in the final days. And the American people's voice is a very, very powerful thing.

    We’re not done yet. I want to urge members of both parties to do the right thing and support this deal with your votes over the next few days. It will allow us to avoid default. It will allow us to pay our bills. It will allow us to start reducing our deficit in a responsible way. And it will allow us to turn to the very important business of doing everything we can to create jobs, boost wages, and grow this economy faster than it's currently growing.

    That’s what the American people sent us here to do, and that’s what we should be devoting all of our time to accomplishing in the months ahead.

    Thank you very much, everybody.

    ","short_text":"

    President Obama announced Sunday night that Congress and the White House had reached agreement on a deal to raise the debt ceiling, which would cut about $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years and create a bipartisan committee to propose furthe...Read More"},{"id":"449","created":"07/31/2011 8:40 PM EDT","title":"Senate Republicans To Meet Monday As Well","tweet_link":"449_senate-republicans-to-meet-monday-as-well","entry_text":"

    Mitch McConnell announced that Republicans will hold a conference meeting in Monday morning as well to review the deal: \"I can say there is a framework to review that will ensure significant cuts in Washington's spending.\"

    ","short_text":"

    Mitch McConnell announced that Republicans will hold a conference meeting in Monday morning as well to review the deal: \"I can say there is a framework to review that will ensure significant cuts in Washington's spending.\"

    "},{"id":"448","created":"07/31/2011 8:37 PM EDT","title":"Reid: Democrats Meeting 11 A.M. Monday","tweet_link":"448_reid-democrats-meeting-11-am-monday","entry_text":"

    Harry Reid, speaking on the Senate floor Sunday evening, announced that the Democratic caucus would meet at 11 a.m. Monday morning to discuss the deal negotiated with Republican leaders and the White House.

    \"My message to the world tonight is this nation and this Congress moving forward, and we're moving forward together.\"

    \"Democrats and Republicans have rarely needed to come together more than today. It won't make every Republican happy. It certainly won't make every Democrat happy either.\"

    ","short_text":"

    Harry Reid, speaking on the Senate floor Sunday evening, announced that the Democratic caucus would meet at 11 a.m. Monday morning to discuss the deal negotiated with Republican leaders and the White House.

    \"My message to the world tonight is thi...Read More"},{"id":"447","created":"07/31/2011 8:32 PM EDT","title":"Obama To Make Statement","tweet_link":"447_obama-to-make-statement","entry_text":"

    President Obama will make a statement at 8:40 p.m.

    ","short_text":"

    President Obama will make a statement at 8:40 p.m.

    "},{"id":"446","created":"07/31/2011 7:31 PM EDT","title":"McConnell Has 'Not Signed Off On Anything'","tweet_link":"446_mcconnell-has-not-signed-off-on-anything","entry_text":"

    ABC News reports:

    In a sign we’re not there yet, this evening Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's spokesman told reporters flatly: \"Sen. McConnell has not signed off on anything.\"

    ","short_text":"

    ABC News reports:

    In a sign we’re not there yet, this evening Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConn...Read More"},{"id":"445","created":"07/31/2011 7:18 PM EDT","title":"'A Sugar-Coated Satan Sandwich'","tweet_link":"445_a-sugarcoated-satan-sandwich","entry_text":"

    Roll Call reports:

    Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said early reports of the new deal appeared to be \"a sugar-coated Satan sandwich.\" The Missouri Democrat said the CBC hadn’t yet made a formal declaration that the group would oppose it, \"but this is a shady bill.\"

    Read more here.

    ","short_text":"

    Roll Call reports:

    Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said early reports of the ne...Read More"},{"id":"444","created":"07/31/2011 7:03 PM EDT","title":"Boehner To Speak with GOP Caucus At 8:30 P.M.","tweet_link":"444_boehner-to-speak-with-gop-caucus-at-830-pm","entry_text":"

    \n\n\"JakeSherman\"\n\n\n@ JakeSherman :\nthe call has been scheduled: GOP conference call at 830 pm.\n
    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ JakeSherman :\nthe call has been scheduled: GOP conference call at 830 pm.\n"},{"id":"443","created":"07/31/2011 6:33 PM EDT","title":"Pelosi: Meeting With Democratic Leaders Was 'Constructive' ","tweet_link":"443_pelosi-meeting-with-democratic-leaders-was-constructive-","entry_text":"

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said a meeting with Democratic leaders Sunday afternoon was \"constructive.\" But she did not say whether she and other House Democrats will support the current deal.

    \"We all might not be able to support it -- or none of us may be able to support it,\" Pelosi said.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) already stated his support for the deal, pending approval of his caucus.

    \"Of course, he has a lead on me because it was a Senate product,\" Pelosi said.

    -- Elise Foley

    ","short_text":"

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said a meeting with Democratic leaders Sunday afternoon was \"constructive.\" But she did not say whether she and other House Democrats will support the current deal.

    \"We all might not be able to support it -- or...Read More"},{"id":"442","created":"07/31/2011 6:30 PM EDT","title":"Pelosi To Meet With House Democratic Caucus Monday","tweet_link":"442_pelosi-to-meet-with-house-democratic-caucus-monday","entry_text":"

    \n\n\"Todd_Zwillich\"\n\n\n@ Todd_Zwillich :\nPelosi: I have to meet w my caucus tomorrow to see how we will proceed. / Boehner likely to need many Dem votes\n
    \n\n\"Todd_Zwillich\"\n\n\n@ Todd_Zwillich :\nPelosi on #debt deal: \"We all may not support it, or none of us may be able to support it.\"\n
    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ Todd_Zwillich :\nPelosi: I have to meet w my caucus tomorrow to see how we will proceed. / Boehner likely to need many Dem vo...Read More"},{"id":"441","created":"07/31/2011 6:11 PM EDT","title":"Senate Vote Tonight 'Highly Unlikely'","tweet_link":"441_senate-vote-tonight-highly-unlikely","entry_text":"
    \n\n\"ReutersPolitics\"\n\n\n@ ReutersPolitics :\nUS Senate vote on debt deal \"highly unlikely\" before Monday according to senior congressional aide\n
    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ ReutersPolitics :\nUS Senate vote on debt deal \"highly unlikely\" before Monday according to senior congressional aide\nRead More"},{"id":"440","created":"07/31/2011 6:04 PM EDT","title":"McConnell Meeting With Boehner","tweet_link":"440_mcconnell-meeting-with-boehner","entry_text":"
    \n\n\"ryanjreilly\"\n\n\n@ ryanjreilly :\nSen. McConnell just took back door into House Speaker Boehner's office. #debtceiling\n

    ABC News' Jake Tapper reports on some of the behind-the-scenes talks taking place this weekend:

    McConnell and Biden spoke four times on Saturday and four or five times today. McConnell and his team have been working closely through Biden and Biden’s chief of staff Bruce Reed.

    McConnell is negotiating on behalf of both himself and Boehner, both the Senate GOP and the House GOP.

    Read more here.

    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ ryanjreilly :\nSen. McConnell just took back door into House Speaker Boehner's office. #debtceiling\n

    ABC News...Read More"},{"id":"439","created":"07/31/2011 5:55 PM EDT","title":"More Calls For Obama To Invoke 14th Amendment","tweet_link":"439_more-calls-for-obama-to-invoke-14th-amendment","entry_text":"

    Fox News reports that the Congressional Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus will call on President Obama Monday to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.

    The CBC sent a letter to Obama Saturday arguing that he has \"both the authority and a moral obligation\" to invoke the Constitution's 14th Amendment \"to avoid an economic catastrophe of historic proportions.\"

    The White House, however, has repeatedly ruled out invoking the 14th Amendment as a solution to the debt ceiling crisis.

    ","short_text":"

    Fox News reports that the Congressional Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus will call on President Obama Monday to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.

    The CBC sent a Read More"},{"id":"438","created":"07/31/2011 5:49 PM EDT","title":"Defense Cuts The 'Last Hurdle'","tweet_link":"438_defense-cuts-the-last-hurdle","entry_text":"

    \n\n\"BreakingNews\"\n\n\n@ BreakingNews :\nGOP source: \"Last hurdle\" to deal due to defense dept. cuts, administration wants larger cuts than GOP - NBC News\n
    \n\n\"samsteinhp\"\n\n\n@ samsteinhp :\nLeiberman puts out statement of concern on defense cuts in deal. doesn't say he will oppose the measure tho\n
    \n\n\"jacksonjk\"\n\n\n@ jacksonjk :\nHouse GOP aide confirms that House Republicans are still trying to bring down defense cuts in first year from 3 percent to 2 percent.\n
    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ BreakingNews :\nGOP source: \"Last hurdle\" to deal due to defense dept. cuts, administration wants larger cuts than GOP - NBC Ne...Read More"},{"id":"437","created":"07/31/2011 5:24 PM EDT","title":"Harry Reid Tentatively Signs Off On Debt Ceiling Deal","tweet_link":"437_harry-reid-tentatively-signs-off-on-debt-ceiling-deal","entry_text":"

    HuffPost's Sam Stein reports:

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has tentatively signed off on a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling, which has been primarily negotiated between his Republican counterpart, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and President Barack Obama.

    \"Senator Reid has signed off on the debt-ceiling agreement pending caucus approval,\" Reid's spokesman, Adam Jentleson, said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

    In coming out in favor of the deal, Reid paves the way for its passage in the Senate. There are likely to be members of both parties who will end up opposing the measure, which would cut $1 trillion in spending over the course of ten years before giving way to a super committee of lawmakers to find $1.8 trillion in additional cuts. But that chamber seems like less of a steep hurdle for passage.

    The real question mark is the House of Representatives. On Sunday, Democratic aides suggested that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was inching towards formally supporting the deal. But no formal word has been issued from her office. Her caucus, which is compromised of more progressives than the Senate, presents a far tougher sell than Reid's.

    Click here to read the full report.

    ","short_text":"

    HuffPost's Sam Stein reports:

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has tentatively signed off ...Read More"},{"id":"436","created":"07/31/2011 4:49 PM EDT","title":"Reid: 'I Hope' Senate Will Vote Today","tweet_link":"436_reid-i-hope-senate-will-vote-today","entry_text":"

    Emerging from a meeting of Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, Senate Majority Leader declined to comment on whether a deal had been reached.

    He answered only one question to the mob of press, would the Senate would vote today on a deal.

    \"I hope so,\" Reid said.

    -- Elise Foley

    ","short_text":"

    Emerging from a meeting of Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, Senate Majority Leader declined to comment on whether a deal had been reached.

    He answered only one question to the mob of press, would the Senate would vote today on a deal....Read More"},{"id":"435","created":"07/31/2011 4:40 PM EDT","title":"Meeting Over","tweet_link":"435_meeting-over","entry_text":"

    \n\n\"jacksonjk\"\n\n\n@ jacksonjk :\nSenate Democratic leaders just left Pelosi's Capitol suite after 1.5 hour meeting.\n
    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ jacksonjk :\nSenate Democratic leaders just left Pelosi's Capitol suite after 1.5 hour meeting.\n"},{"id":"434","created":"07/31/2011 4:27 PM EDT","title":"Dem Leaders Have Reportedly Signed Off On Deal","tweet_link":"434_dem-leaders-have-reportedly-signed-off-on-deal","entry_text":"
    \n\n\"samsteinhp\"\n\n\n@ samsteinhp :\nbreaking: Dem leaders are all in pelosi's office, i'm told. and everyone has signed off on deal. waiting on Boehner.\n
    \n\n\"samsteinhp\"\n\n\n@ samsteinhp :\nReid spokesman @AJentleson, clarifies in statement to huffpost: \"Senator Reid has signed off pending caucus approval.\"\n
    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ samsteinhp :\nbreaking: Dem leaders are all in pelosi's office, i'm told. and everyone has signed off on deal. waiting on Boehner.\n...Read More"},{"id":"432","created":"07/31/2011 4:03 PM EDT","title":"Progressive Caucus Calls Emergency Meeting","tweet_link":"432_progressive-caucus-calls-emergency-meeting","entry_text":"

    A Democratic source on Capitol Hill tells The Huffington Post that the Congressional Progressive Caucus will hold an \"emergency meeting\" on Monday to discuss the final deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

    The meeting will take place at 2:00 p.m. and there will be \"a formal vote on the Caucus’ position to the deal.\" Members have been urged to attend.

    Earlier on Sunday, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), a co-chair of the caucus, put out a statement harshly opposing the deal as it has been described in press reports.

    \"This deal trades peoples’ livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it,\" the statement read. \"Progressives have been organizing for months to oppose any scheme that cuts Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, and it now seems clear that even these bedrock pillars of the American success story are on the chopping block. Even if this deal were not as bad as it is, this would be enough for me to fight against its passage.\"

    How progressive lawmakers come down in the final vote may be the key to its passage. There are 76 members of the CPC, including one senator, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Should House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) bleed a good chunk of votes from his party -- a perfectly conceivable outcome -- he will be forced to rely heavily on Democratic votes.

    Progressives have swallowed their complaints about major pieces of legislation before, including health care reform and the extension of the Bush tax cuts, but they do hold some leverage going into the debt ceiling vote, which will be held Monday or Tuesday.

    -- Sam Stein

    ","short_text":"

    A Democratic source on Capitol Hill tells The Huffington Post that the Congressional Progressive Caucus will hold an \"emergency meeting\" on Monday to discuss the final deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

    The meeting will take place at 2:00 p...Read More"},{"id":"431","created":"07/31/2011 3:26 PM EDT","title":"Reid: 'We're Not Done Yet'","tweet_link":"431_reid-were-not-done-yet","entry_text":"

    According to MSNBC, Harry Reid told reporters as he was walking to Nancy Pelosi's office that the details of the trigger in the deal have not yet been worked out:

    \"I really seriously say, everybody: We don't have that worked out. We don't have the content of what the trigger would be. We have a few things we're still working on, and they're simply not done yet.\"

    ","short_text":"

    According to MSNBC, Harry Reid told reporters as he was walking to Nancy Pelosi's office that the details of the trigger in the deal have not yet been worked out:

    \"I really seriously say, everybody: We don't have that worked out. We don't have th...Read More"},{"id":"430","created":"07/31/2011 3:21 PM EDT","title":"A Deal Before The Asian Markets Open?","tweet_link":"430_a-deal-before-the-asian-markets-open","entry_text":"

    \n\n\"daveweigel\"\n\n\n@ daveweigel :\nReid, Durbin, Murray meeting in Pelosi's office now. Deal bf Asian markets open? Reid: \"I sure hope so.\"\n

    The Asian markets begin to open at 5 p.m. ET.

    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ daveweigel :\nReid, Durbin, Murray meeting in Pelosi's office now. Deal bf Asian markets open? Reid: \"I sure hope so.\"\nRead More"},{"id":"429","created":"07/31/2011 3:02 PM EDT","title":"Deal Largely Done","tweet_link":"429_deal-largely-done","entry_text":"

    ABC News' Jake Tapper reports:

    Sources from both parties tell ABC News that the major potential roadblock in deficit negotiations-- the triggers -- are now essentially agreed upon. The plan is for the House to vote on this tomorrow, assuming all goes according to plan.

    The agreement looks like this: if the super-committee tasked with entitlement and tax reform fails to come up with $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction that passes Congress, the “neutron bomb” goes off, -- as one Democrat put it -- spending cuts that will hit the Pentagon budget most deeply, as well as Medicare providers (not beneficiaries) and other programs.

    If the super-committee comes up with some deficit reduction but not $1.5 trillion, the triggers would make up the difference.

    So it’s a minimum $2.7 trillion deficit reduction deal.

    There are still some sticking points, however. Read more here.

    ","short_text":"

    ABC News' Jake Tapper reports:

    Sources from both parties tell AB...Read More"},{"id":"428","created":"07/31/2011 2:49 PM EDT","title":"House, Senate Leaders Meeting At Capitol","tweet_link":"428_house-senate-leaders-meeting-at-capitol","entry_text":"

    \n\n\"ChadPergram\"\n\n\n@ ChadPergram :\nHouse and Senate Democratic leaders meeting soon at the Capitol.\n
    ","short_text":"\n\n\n\n\n@ ChadPergram :\nHouse and Senate Democratic leaders meeting soon at the Capitol.\n"}]
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