Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 | 10:13 a.m.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has had it with House Speaker John Boehner, whom he accused of “blindsid(ing)” him with yet another debt limit bill from House Republicans, which he said “can’t pass the Senate and won’t pass the Senate.”
“The debt is here. The deadline is looming. Rating agencies are talking about downgrading us as early as tonight,” Reid said. “I’m very disappointed with John Boehner.”
But Boehner’s move may actually end up helping Reid move his preferred debt limit deal through the Senate faster.
Reid expected House Republicans to take a deal he struck with Senate Republicans yesterday. Senate Republicans are meeting to discuss the particulars of the deal and plan their voting strategy.
Though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell struck the deal, he is not expected to be able to bring every Senate Republican on board. Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who spearheaded the Tea Party-tinted push to leverage the budget on defunding Obamacare, have not promised that they will not try to filibuster the compromise deal.
If the Senate uses a House-passed bill as the vehicle for the budget/debt limit deal, it is subject to one less procedural, or filibuster-able, hurdle in the Senate.
And time is of the essence, as the debt ceiling deadline is only a day and a half away.
But such procedural tricks may not end up being necessary if Cruz, Lee and others who expressed willingness to filibuster past the default deadline decide to stand down.
Boehner was not stumping for the new House proposal very fiercely Tuesday.
“There have been no decisions about what exactly we will do,” Boehner said after a meeting with rank-and-file House Republicans — an indication that he may not actually have the votes to keep this volley of bills going.
Regardless, House Democrats are losing their patience as they urge Boehner to simply let them take a positive vote on the Senate's bipartisan deal.
"Instead of working together to find a bipartisan deal that can avert this crisis, House Republicans are cobbling together legislation containing a series of poison-pill provisions that will kill any bill," Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., said in a statement. "It is time for House Republicans to give up the gamesmanship."