House May Vote On Senate Bill First To Expedite Debt Ceiling Resolution
Equity investors can't buy enough this morning. The latest rumor - that the House Republicans are willing to consider voting first on an emerging Senate proposal - provided some fillip to an opening selloff. As Politico reports, this move could expedite bipartisan legislation developed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. If the House passes the bill first and sends it to the upper chamber, it would eliminate some burdensome procedural hurdles in the Senate and require just one procedural roll call with a 60-vote threshold needed to advance the bill toward final passage in the Senate. Of course, the big question here is "If" the House passes the bill...
It still is not assured that Congress will send President Barack Obama a bill to sign by Thursday, when the Treasury Department says the country will breach the debt ceiling. Any senator can also hold up the bill in the Senate past the Thursday deadline, but originating the legislation in the House is the fastest path toward passage for lawmakers and is a sign of urgency in the Capitol.
The bill will barely scathe Obamacare, however, and putting it on the floor will mark a huge concession by the House after sparking a 16-day government shutdown over insistence that the health care law be defunded or delayed as a condition to keep the government open.
And an update of the state of play fdrom Stone McCarthy,
In the Senate, Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell seemed close to finalizing the terms of the deal they've been negotiating over the last few days. Their proposal would raise the debt limit until February 7, and fund the government until January 15. The proposal calls for House and Senate negotiators to agree on a 10-year budget plan by December 13. It seems that the only Obamacare provision that will survive will be one establishing stricter verification requirements for those receiving subsidies to purchase health insurance.
Our understanding is that efforts to include a provision that would prevent Treasury from using extraordinary measures to deal with future debt limit crises have been abandoned. Assuming Reid and McConnell finalize their deal today, the next thing to focus on would be the timetable. Senate leaders could use parliamentary procedures that would allow the full Senate to take up the bill later today, but that would require the "unanimous consent" of all Senators. If any hardliners, such as Senator Cruz, object the process would drag on, perhaps preventing a vote until the weekend.
If that should happen, we remind readers that Treasury is not at serious risk of default if October 17 comes and goes with no increase in the debt limit. As we noted in an update yesterday, Treasury still looks like it will have sufficient cash to pay obligations through October 31. (See November 1 Still the Likely Drop Dead Date, 10/15/13.) Assuming something comes out of the Senate over the next several days, the bill would then go to the House, where Speaker Boehner will need the support of most Democrats to pass the bill.
- advertisements -