After six months of negotiations and warnings of impending economic doom, the White House and Congress have a deal to raise the debt ceiling. President Obama gets one thing he wanted--the debt limit will be increased by enough to last past the 2012 elections. Republicans get more of what they wanted--no tax increases, spending cuts bigger than the size of the debt limit increase. Now all they have to do is pass it and sign it before midnight tonight.
What's in the deal?
The Senate is likely to vote first on the plan because winning support for it there will be easier than in the House, the Associated Press' Andrew Taylor reports. (That vote would take place early Monday afternoon at the earliest, First Read says). To get it through the House, Boehner needs 216 votes, which will require winning over reluctant conservatives and some Democrats. And Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will have to soothe angry liberals. Pelosi's office put out a lukewarm statement on the deal Sunday night, which, as The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza explains, is Pelosi's way of protecting herself and the liberals crucial to her success. "Pelosi wants to make a point here--that the White House can cut all the deals it want but that she and the Democratic House caucus won't immediately fall in line if it's not in their own political or policy interests to do so." Still, "Pelosi is a team player and won't urge her Democratic colleagues to rob President Obama of the deal he desperately wants/needs heading into 2012." What does that mean for voting on the plan? The Hill's Bob Cusack explains that Pelosi might "argue that the onus is on the House GOP leaders to get more yes votes because they are in the majority. ... Minimizing yes votes from Democrats would force the GOP to lean on its members to vote yes on what could be a politically toxic vote come November 2012."
[T]he pro-defense conservatives who cheered and cheered as Tea Party Republicans were awarded veto power over GOP decision-making have completely outfoxed themselves. They are now parties to a deal that targets the defense budget as the main hostage in future budget negotiations.
Likewise, Andrew Exum at the Center for a New American Security is exasperated that after a decade of ground wars in the Middle East, "Democrats and moderate Republicans have decided they would rather keep expensive entitlements than rebuild our military... And conservative Republicans claim to value the military and believe in more robust defense spending, but they refuse to raise taxes to pay for the advanced military capabilities they want." Defense analysts will be left to explain to lawmakers that "if they reduce their available resources, they will need to adjust the scale of their ambitions as well." Exum blames self-indulgent boomers for this situation:
The older generation continues to draw more from entitlement programs than they ever contributed and also refuses to raise taxes, meaning the burden for both perpetually doing more with less and paying for entitlement programs we ourselves will never enjoy falls to my generation and the one below me.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.