About the time that most people were getting home from work on Friday, it was announced that the House of Representatives had passed a balanced budget bill. But, by the time that those same people woke up on Saturday morning, the news was how the Senate had killed the bill.
In case you missed it, here is exactly what happened on Friday.
GOP bill passes the House
On Thursday, John Boehner’s GOP-led bill looked like it couldn’t even get out of the House. The Tea Party freshmen wouldn’t back it because they felt that it didn’t make deep enough cuts. So Boehner was left with two choices. He could re-write a bill that would appease the GOP moderates and the Democrats or he could send his bill to the far right, get the support of the Tea Party and see his bill instantly killed in the Senate. The House Speaker from Ohio did the latter, writing a bill that had no chance of becoming law. It passed the House, 218-210, with every Democrat voting against the bill and with 22 Republicans doing the same.
Senate kills House bill
The Senate had been waiting all week on what Boehner would do. Harry Reid was willing to either work with Boehner on making a compromised bill or to vote down his Tea Party bill. When they received this bill from the House that was short on cuts and high on political rhetoric, they voted against it in spades. The Senate voted 59-41 to table the bill, effectively killing it.
What it means
The only good news for Republicans was that Boehner showed that he can still get a vote passed by the House. Unfortunately for the GOP, it also showed that their party is being run by the Tea Party. What’s even worse, it showed that the House is willing to waste a day for posturing in a crisis situation with nothing less than the entire United States economy on the line.
From a Senate standpoint, it showed that the Democrats are very united in their stance, that they’re willing to work with the Republicans but that they will not be pushed around.
Reid’s own bill, which has higher cuts and gives long-term solutions is now going to the House for a vote. If they pass the bill, President Barack Obama could sign it into law and the debt crisis would be over. The problem is that the GOP members in the House have already shown that they won’t compromise and they will vote down this bill. With no talks scheduled between the two parties, it looks more and more likely that the USA will default on Tuesday.
To read about how the Reid and Boehner bills break down, click here.