Congressional officials react to House debt plan

July 29, 2011 6:24:22 PM PDT
The Senate rejected a House-approved national debt plan on Friday, which means politicians have about four days to come up with a compromise and a plan to keep the country from going into default on its loans.

Though the House passed the bill to raise the debt limit, analysts say it only increased the chances that the government will run out of money.

With an impassioned plea to his colleagues in the House, Speaker John Boehner pushed his measure to the floor on Friday.

"It is time for the administration and time for our colleagues across th aisle to put something on the table!" Boehner said. "Tell us where you are!"

The speaker's plan raises the debt limit by $900 billion and cuts government spending by $917 billion. The plan also called for no increase in taxes for anyone.

"What is on the floor today -- balanced budget. Balanced in what way?" House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi questioned. "Balnaced in whose favor? It looks like a seesaw to me."

Pelosi chided Republicans for protecting tax cuts for the rich, but the call for a balanced budget amendment doomed the legislation according to Senator Barbara Boxer.

"The first balanced budget to the Constitution was introduced in the 1930s; it has never passed both houses," said Boxer. "It is very controversial because people feel you can't respond quickly enough to war, you can't respond to disaster, you can't respond to recession."

Palo Alto congresswoman Anna Eshoo said the bill "guarantees that in a few months we would have to go through the same hell."

Eshoo has a point: The House plan killed by the Senate would have required another vote as early as next year as well as a Constitutional amendment.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised his $2 trillion plan would be ready for a vote by Saturday evening.

"Even if the Senate can come up with something that they agree, and can get some Republican support, it's not clear to me that the House is going to vote for it," said ABC7 political analyst Bruce Cain. "Look at what they've done already...they've basically said, this is what we want, it's our way or the highway so I'm very pessimistic about the projects for consensus."

The Senate is the last best hope for getting a compromise, but as Cain points out, getting any agreement through the House is going to be challenging.


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