The Compromise Boehner and Reid Will Have to Make

The areas where the House and Senate can move closer together

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At his press conference Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said he's confident the House will pass his plan to raise the debt ceiling in a vote this evening. While hardline Tea Partiers could still foil its passage, political observers are giving Boehner the benefit of the doubt, looking ahead to where the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could broker a deal. Ahead of Boehner's afternoon presser, Reid vowed to defeat the bill in the Senate immediately following the House vote. If that happens, the two sides will likely have to compromise to the point where a proposal can pass in both chambers. So what will each side have to give up? Here's what D.C.'s astute class of political analysts are predicting.

Spending Cuts National Journal's Major Garrett says Reid and Boehner may be able to find common ground on discretionary spending. Boehner's original bill sought $7 billion in cuts. His redrafted bill moved the number up to $22 billion. "If Boehner started at $7 billion and has jumped up to $22 billion, a middle number would be $15 billion," writes Garrett. "That’s a first-year discretionary spending cut that might work for both sides and reflect a true middle ground." Reid has also reached out to Republicans on another way to close the gap, reports Time's Jay Newton-Small. ", Democrats are proposing to immediately pass $1.2 trillion in spending cuts along with the debt ceiling hike, followed by the formation of a commission to look for more savings." What kind of mandate that commission is given is subject to debate.

Debt Ceiling Time's Jay Newton-Small says there may be some wiggle room on a short-term extension of  the debt ceiling. "In an official statement of administration policy on Tuesday, Obama’s budget office said that it would recommend a veto of Boehner’s plan for that reason, but the President has declined to make any explicit threat to that end. On Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney repeatedly declined to say that the President would veto a short-term extension, which leaves congressional Democrats some space to negotiate." The Washington Post's Ezra Klein predicts that the compromise proposal will raise the debt ceiling by $1 trillion. "Further increases will be done through the McConnell mechanism: The president will essentially be able to raise the debt ceiling on his own, but Congress will be able to issue resolutions of disapproval if and when he does so."

Committee  According to Ezra Klein, a bipartisan "Supercommittee" will be tasked with cutting the deficit by at least $1.8 trillion. He predicts the negotiations will turn out like this: "Unlike in Boehner’s plan, future debt-ceiling increases will not require passage of the committee’s plan. But unlike in Reid’s plan, there will be a “trigger” mechanism that begins making automatic, across-the-board cuts if their plan — or some variant — isn’t adopted."

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