The RP’s Budget Crisis Update

The RP's Budget Crisis Update

In spite of the collapse of the most recent round of Obama-Boehner talks and the pursuant blame game, it appears that some major points of agreement have been reached, namely raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 and slowing the growth of Social Security benefits. [Huff Post]

In related news, Pres. Obama has called an emergency meeting involving himself, Speaker Boehner, Sens. Reid and McConnell, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the White House Saturday at 11 a.m. Boehner has said that he needs to have a bill in hand on Monday (and passed in the House by Wednesday [Politico]…in order to get the debt ceiling raised by the August 2 deadline [National Journal]…

…which may in fact be an August 10 deadline. Researchers at Barclays, noting that the Treasury has taken in $14 billion more and spent $1 billion less than expected since July 13, may not run out of money until about a week after the currently anticipated deadline. [Huff Post]

This summarizes the he said-he said back-and-forth over the collapse of Pres. Obama and Speaker Boehner’s debt talks. The President blames the Speaker for not taking the plan (“the tough thing, but the right thing”) to his caucus because of revenue-raising measures, while the Speaker blames the President for having “moved the goal post” and requesting $400 billion in additional revenue toward the end of the failed negotiations. [Politico & Politico]

This is, of course, the sort of behavior House Republicans (especially the Tea Party set and the freshmen) wanted to see out of Boehner. [Politico]

In something of a repeat from 2010, House Republicans, especially the leadership, are on the lookout for primary challenges from the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. The fear is that house primaries will be ignored by the party mainstream, allowing right-wing ideologues to win primaries in solidly Republican districts. This has, of course, made Speaker Boehner’s job rather difficult as he tries to work out a debt-response plan that will be accepted by the Senate and President without putting members of his caucus in electoral peril. [Huff Post]

Debt negotiations have claimed their first victims: thousands of employees of the Federal Aviation Administration will be furloughed or asked to work without pay after Congress failed to reach a deal that would either give them a temporary funding extension (the 21st consecutively) or a permanent funding scheme of some sort. [Washington Post]

In an interesting twist, Grover Norquist has said that Republican lawmakers should increase the debt ceiling to avoid the US defaulting on its obligations next month. Additionally, and perhaps more astonishingly, he has endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “Plan B” legislation that would give President Obama the power to raise the debt limit as he sees fit. Norquist made news a few days ago when he said that letting the Bush tax cuts expire would not violate his anti-tax pledge that most Republican lawmakers have signed. [Roll Call]

In a reversal of their skepticism last week, Senate leaders have expressed willingness to consider the proposals made by the Gang of Six after Tom Coburn rejoined the group. Sen. McConnell: We wanted to give them an opportunity to make their suggestions about how their recommendations fit into the endgame here, and we had a good discussion.” Members of the Gang have expressed uncertainty about whether their plan will be the template for the eventual debt-reduction plan, but a willingness to work through the negotiations. [Politico]



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