Home > Federal, National > Democrat Senate tabled Cut, Cap, and Balance – but it’s not over – what does it mean – what’s the solution, the saga continues.

Democrat Senate tabled Cut, Cap, and Balance – but it’s not over – what does it mean – what’s the solution, the saga continues.

July 23, 2011


Democratic Senate Kills Cut, Cap, Balance

Katie Pavlich  – Townhall

The Democratic Senate has voted to “table” Cut, Cap and Balance, meaning democrats have killed, at least for now, the second plan given to them by the House of Representatives to reduce spending and get the deficit under control.  From the National Journal:

The Senate voted (party line) 51 to 46 on Friday to kill the House-passed “cut, cap and balance” bill, clearing the way for Congress to consider another measure to raise the federal debt ceiling with negotiations at a critical point before the Aug. 2 deadline.

It remains to be seen if the alternative will be the so-called grand bargain being discussed between the White House and House Republicans, or a fall back, like the plan from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to give President Obama the power to raise the ceiling by $2.5 trillion in three steps.

House Republicans had publicly touted the “cut, cap and balance” bill as their solution on how to raise the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and GOP leaders hope its defeat will make it easier for rank-and-file Republicans to accept an alternative deal.

The bill would have required slashing spending by more than $100 billion in FY12 and eventually capping federal spending at about 20 percent of GDP. It required Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to raise the debt ceiling.

Late last night on Twitter, Republican Senator Marco Rubio hoped that if Democrats decided not to support the latest House plan, that they would be prepared to offer an alternative.  So where is it Harry Reid? It’s day 815 since Senate Democrats passed a budget, which they are obligated by law to do. There are 11 days left before we reach the debt ceiling deadline on Aug. 2. Tick, tock.

House Speaker John Boehner has released a statement:

“Senate Democrats have defied the will of the American people who overwhelmingly support real spending cuts, caps on future spending, and a balanced budget to create a better environment for private-sector job growth. Republicans are standing with the American people and, as I’ve said before, will not pass a bill that fails to cut spending by more than it increases the debt limit, restrain future spending, or that raises taxes on families and job creators. To help avoid a default, I urge the Senate to rethink their decision and immediately approve the responsible, balanced, House-passed ‘Cut, Cap, & Balance’ proposal.”

In the meantime, President Obama will make another speech today in a town hall style format at the University of Maryland to “explain” the debt crisis. However, Obama won’t discuss a detailed plan during the town hall because he simply doesn’t have one. Most likely, this will be another campaign stop rather than a serious discussion about the crisis and chaos in Washington.

UPDATE (via Guy Benson) – As I reported last night, Republicans were expecting this legislative outcome.  What they may not have expected was Harry Reid’s head-turning decision to declare the Senate closed for business until Monday — immediately after killing CCB.  As recently as yesterday, Reid was slamming the House (you know, the chamber that has produced two specific legislative solutions to the crisis) over adjourning for the weekend with a pressing debt deadline looming.  Now that he’s dispensed with the only actual plan on the table — which he called a “waste” of time — Reid has proceeded to…the weekend.  No additional business.  No introduction of an alternative plan.  Just the weekend, to waste more time?  Again, this was yesterday:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Thursday morning slammed House Republicans for their decision to take “the weekend off,” a shot that comes as part of a mounting Democratic effort to turn up the heat on lower-chamber Republicans to compromise on a debt-ceiling deal.  Reid’s comments followed an announcement on Wednesday from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., that the lower chamber would not stay in session this weekend.  Reid said in a floor speech it is “untoward, and that’s the kindest word I can say, to have the House of Representatives out this weekend.” Reid said their absence provides a “very bad picture for our country.”

Bravo on a hard day’s work, Harry.  Your “leadership” is exquisitely horrific.  So, again, the country waits and the markets hold their collective breath.  If you’re looking for them, Senate Democrats will be at the pool.  As Katie says, tick, tock…

Senate Defeats Cut, Cap, and Balance

The Senate voted 51-46 to table ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’. Click here to see the results of the vote. (Just so you know; What is our NY Senator Gillibrand doing Not Voting! ??)

Americans for Limited Government Bill Wilson said the following:

“The defeat today in the Senate of the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ provision to deal with the debt ceiling crisis is a tragedy.  We have lost, through this vote, not just the ability of any short term remedy, but the opportunity to put America on a trajectory for fiscal sustainability and a return to sound economic planning and thinking.  Today is going to be marked, frankly, as a tragic day in American history.  This is the day when the Senate went on record wanting to see America expand its debt, which will inevitably lead to the collapse of the dollar and the collapse of the U.S. economy.

“Credit rating agencies Moody’s and S&P have warned if a fiscal consolidation plan of at least $4 trillion is not put in place now, our Triple-A credit rating will be revoked.  That will crash markets all over the world, mean higher interest payments, which already total in the hundreds of billions every year, and make the size of budget cuts needed even larger in the future.  Washington simply is not taking this threat seriously.  ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ is the only proposal on the table that can deal with this threat in a timely and effective manner, saving $5.8 trillion in the next ten years and balancing the budget.

“Senators who profess to support a Balanced Budget Amendment and who voted no on ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ have, through their deceit, tabled the one proposal that can prevent a downgrade.  They are guaranteeing that their own states, which too will be affected by a Treasury downgrade, will have to make even higher interest payments on municipal debt.  By fighting budget cuts in Washington, senators are guaranteeing bigger budget cuts at home down the road.

“When the nation is downgraded, and markets crash, the American people now have someone to blame: Those senators that refused to take the opportunity presented by ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ to restore order to the nation’s fiscal house.”

Gang of Six Member urges passage of Cut, Cap and Balance bill

They should have listened to Senator Coburn, but they didn’t!

and by the way: Ask the President: What Are You Going to do With $181 Billion Dollars if You’re Not Paying Bills?

If Debt Is the Enemy Then There Are Traitors Among Us

Frank Salvato

The so-called “debt ceiling default crisis” continues to loom, with enough Progressive-Leftist demagoguery in the air to choke a horse, or, in this case, kill an economy….

Democrats Balk at Potential Debt Limit Deal
Democrats reacted angrily to reports that the White House is cutting a deal with House Republicans to boost the U.S. debt ceiling and reduce deficits by about $3 trillion over 10 years without immediate revenue increases…

Duh, isn’t that the point: Democrat Complains: Balanced Budget Amendment Would ‘Make it Virtually Impossible to Raise’ Taxes

News from The Hill:
Boehner cuts off debt talks with Obama
By Russell Berman
House Republican leaders have called off negotiations with the White House over a broad deficit reduction deal tied to an increase in the federal debt limit and will begin exclusive talks with Senate leaders to avert a government default on Aug. 2, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced Friday. Boehner told House Republicans in a letter that President Obama is “adamant” about raising taxes and would not agree to “fundamental changes” to entitlement programs…
The Good news in all of this is that Senators Coburn and Demint may well re-introduce the Cut Cap and Balance bill..

Open Letter to President Obama on the Debt Ceiling Debate

Matt Kibbe, President and CEO, FreedomWorks
[Click hereto see a PDF version of this letter.]

Conn Carroll – Two-thirds of Americans support House Cut Cap and Balance Plan

Two-thirds of Americans support Balanced Budget Amendment for debt limit hike CNN released a poll showing overwhelming support for the House Republican approach to the debt limit crisis. Specifically, 66 percent of Americans favor a deal where both houses of Congresses pass a balance budget amendment, and substantial cuts and caps on future spending, in exchange for a debt limit hike.

Cut, Cap, and Cut the Crap — According a new CNN poll, America is saying Yes, Please, and Thank You to Cut, Cap, and Balance. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air writes: “Harry Reid might consider the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act the worst piece of legislation in the history of, well, legislation, but he doesn’t get much company among American adults. In the latest CNN poll, two-thirds of voters favor the idea of tying a raise in the debt ceiling to spending caps and a balanced budget amendment, and this isn’t a survey of conservative-leaning likely voters, either… The CCB/BBA approach wins majorities in every single demographic — including self-described liberals. Sixty-three percent of Democrats back the House bill. The least supportive age demographic is 50-64YOs at 62/37; the least supportive regional demographic is the Midwest at 61/39. Even those who express opposition to the Tea Party support it 53/47. In other words, it’s a clean sweep. Simply put, there is no political demographic at all where the CCB/BBA doesn’t get majority support.” Yeah, b-b-but… Dead grandmas! Big Oil!

Michael Barone – Gang of Six, What’s In It and Why It’s Bad

If you want a full explanation of the Gang of Six budget proposals and a list of 17 (!) arguments why the package is bad public policy, you can’t do better than to check out Keith Hennessey’s blog on the proposal and on the arguments against.

Gang of Six Deal is Antithesis of Reform
Floyd and Mary Beth Brown

Never Trust Anything From a Gang
David Limbaugh

White House and Congressional Leaders Resort to Fearmongering

If you’ve seen the recent Harry Potter or watched any of a host of exorcism movies, you know that right before the demon dies, he lashes out most brutally and fearfully to try to get you to give up.

We’re seeing the demon of out of control government lashing out in spectacular fashion now before House Republicans kill it.

In one last spectacular bout, the White House and Congressional leaders are summoning Standards & Poor to Congress to scare the beejezus out of House Republican Freshman. They are bringing in the Grim Reaper to proclaim death if a deal is not reached.

House Republicans should first note that S&P did not see the financial crisis come and also note that the White House and Congressional leaders did the exact same thing on TARP.

Then House Republicans need to open their eyes, laugh at death, and finish the exorcism. 

There Are No Spending Cuts Without Downsizing Government

Republicans and conservatives have correctly asserted that the federal government doesn’t have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. However, a more trenchant summation of our public policy vices would go something like this: we don’t have a spending problem, per se; we have a big government problem.

While such a characterization might sound redundant, the Orwellian language used to describe spending cuts throughout the debt ceiling debate exposes a huge bifurcation between “spending cuts” and government reduction. The very same politicians who increased the debt $3.7 trillion in just two and a half years, and have condemned us to a future trajectory of $10 trillion more over the next ten years, are now tossing out spending cut bids to the tune of trillions, as if we were sitting at a Barney Frank foreclosure auction. Obama and the Democrats promote numbers like $4 trillion in cuts; no, $6 trillion; the Gangters of Six are staking their claim on $3.7 trillion. Finally, we are all told that, at the very least, there is consensus around $1.5 trillion in cuts from the Biden bunch.

So how can the very people who increased spending by trillions just last year suddenly exhibit such gaiety in cutting spending?

Louie Gohmert: We Need A Game Changer
Sean was joined by Congressman Louie Gohmert to discuss the debt ceiling debate. “I have to give the House credit for passing the Cut, Cap and Balance plan and the Ryan plan,” began Hannity, “The Speaker seems somehow determined to make this grand bargain his legacy, tell me it’s not true!” “I’d like to tell you it’s not true and I was just told there is no agreement,” defended Gohmert, “I’m hoping there’s no deal but I’m hearing cuts over a ten year period with no balanced budget requirement.” Gohmert continued, “The only way I’d vote to raise the ceiling is if there was a real game changer and a balanced budget amendment is just that, a real game changer.” After years of increased debt and a weakened economy, we certainly do need a game changer and you can find that in the Cut, Cap and Balance plan that passed the House.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss: Defending the Gang of Six
Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss joined Sean to defend his role in a Gang of Six agreement. “I’m going to be honest,” explained Sean, “I was shocked to hear that you’d been a part of this agreement and shocked the President would use this to divert attention from the best plan out there which is Cut, Cap and Balance.” “The President is sweating because of his lack of leadership,” explained Senator Chambliss, “I hope that Cut, Cap and Balance passes in the Senate and I plan to vote for it.” Hannity pushed back though saying, “The day that your plan was made public was the same day that Cut, Cap and Balance passed and it seems you guys are negotiating amongst yourselves.” “I’m supportive of Cut, Cap and Balance,” explained Chambliss, “What we’ve been focused on for the seven months we’ve been focused on this massive fourteen and a half trillion dollar deficit.” There ‘s still hope but it seems that the Gang of Six proposal may have taken away much of the GOP’s bargaining power. 

IBD Editorial: In Deficit Debate, Principles Do Matter

First Things: Plans to solve our out-of-control debt problem keep proliferating. But amid the welter of competing forecasts and estimates, Republicans should remember: your principles matter … More »


The debt ceiling looms. Confusion reigns. Schemes abound. We are deep in a hole with, as of now, only three ways out: the McConnell plan, the G6 plan and the Half-Trillion plan. The McConnell … More »


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