There are a lot of reports out there about what’s happening with the debt-ceiling negotiations:
It appears Obama is now the lone holdout at this point on two key elements of a deal: whether taxes have to rise, and whether a two-step process is acceptable.
Reid, by deciding to work on an all-spending-cuts-no-tax-hikes plan, is essentially — ahem — calling the president’s bluff. Two and a half months ago, when Boehner first stated his position that any debt-ceiling increase had to be matched dollar-for-dollar by spending cuts (albeit on a much longer time frame than the new borrowing authority), the idea was considered radical. But it’s become the basis for negotiations: Even Obama’s rhetorical “plan” to cut deficits by $4 trillion started with dollar-for-dollar cuts and tacked tax increases on top of it.
With Reid’s move, the only questions now are whether the cuts will be real, and whether Obama will swallow his pride (after warning Congress not to call his bluff) and sign such a package.
And if the House GOP will only agree to a short-term deal to get the government past its Aug. 2 deadline, followed by a longer-term arrangement? The president may have to swallow his pride again.
– By Kyle Wingfield