Debt Crisis: Boehner's Plan or Reid's Plan, "Who's Zoomin' Who?"

July 27, 2011

8:31 pm, Central

Diane W. Collins



Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

Senate Floor: Opening Remarks

The debt crisis got a kick in the pants when the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) produced its scores for the Boehner and Reid plans. Neither met their stated cuts according to the CBO. Facts? Reid's plan missed the mark by $500B. Boehner's plan missed by $380*M*. Big difference. Reid, however, didn't skip a beat as he continued his demagoguery on the Senate floor.


The Senate Majority Leader's first point of legislative business this morning? He objected to proceeding with Sen. Pat Toomey's bill, S.1420, The Full Faith and Credit Act of 2011 which had been presented at the desk. Toomey's bill provides payment protection to seniors, active military and bond holders. It ensures we don't default by prioritizing Treasury payments if a debt ceiling deal is not reached. Reid wouldn't let it proceed. And Democrats claim without blinking it is the Republicans who want it "their way."


Of course, Reid didn't stop there... He went on to denigrate Speaker Boehner saying Boehner's plan was supposed to be introduced on the House floor today, but because the "numbers were wrong" the vote was postponed. Reid continued deriding Boehner's plan saying Republicans couldn't even project the numbers correctly..."that's how bad the plan is." Harry Reid is the personification of disingenuous. Reid's numbers were "more wrong," if you'll pardon the grammar. Boehner pushed back the House vote to Thursday and went to work revising the plan to increase its effectiveness and make sure there were real dollar for dollar cuts to spending. Reid on the other hand produced a plan that takes credit for $1T in cuts that were already scheduled to take place because of military downsizing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reid's fix? Blame Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). He said Ryan's budget did the same thing. Yet, Ryan said yesterday that wasn't true and went through the math to prove it. I'm beginning to think Democrats don't care if they're caught in a lie. They just repeat it the next day believing a whole new audience will hear the message.


Then there's the "two step" controversy. Reid complained Boehner's plan would have Congress back discussing the debt ceiling issue again in September before the 2012 election. He said the "two step process" included in Boehner's plan created uncertainty in the markets. It's obvious Reid is carrying water for President Obama who simply doesn't want the American debt crisis to interfere with his presidential campaign. Boehner's plan is in "two steps" for a reason. First, Republicans couldn't find enough legitimate cuts to include in the plan in order to make it "significant" as described by the rating agencies. Why? Democrats wouldn't agree to responsibly reform entitlements and we need a plan that can pass both the House and the Senate. Second, Republicans don't want to give President Obama a "blank check." So, the two step process sets up a bipartisan, bicameral committee to analyze what cuts are to be made before President Obama gets his money.


Press Conference


White House Press

Democrats Spin



Senate Democrat Leadership
Press Sec. Carney


Reid continued saying the Boehner plan is "a waste of time." They said that about Cut, Cap and Balance too, remember? Reid declared the President wouldn't sign Boehner's plan even if it passed. Catching a hint of the Shakespearean "protests to much me thinks? Me too. Reid even invoked the economy as the one, "demanding a long term solution that puts another debt ceiling debate past the election." Funny, Ronald Reagan seemed to be able to handle debt ceiling debates during elections. Reid says his plan gives the markets stability. Not true. The plan has phony cuts, as mentioned, that do not solve our long term debt and deficit... as credit rating agencies have requested. Yet, Democrat leadership continued to rail against the Boehner plan in multiple press conferences while Press Secretary Carney did little more than obfuscate during the White House daily briefing.


It is amazing how Democrats use the Republicans to do the work, come up with the solutions and then pick and choose what they like. Democrats then claim the "selected" work as "theirs" and demagogue the Republicans on the rest. AMAZING. Why are we letting them get away with this? We need to do a better job communicating the message.


Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Floor: Opening Remarks

Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) worked at putting it straight. One thing he mentioned on the Senate floor this morning was the White House Statement of Administration Policy recently released. The policy advocated by "unnamed senior advisers" recommends President Obama veto the Boehner plan if it makes it to Obama's desk. Why? It puts the mess back in Obama's lap. It doesn't get Obama through the 2012 election without another debt ceiling debate. It doesn't let Obama blame the Republicans for the "default and downgrade crisis" Secretary Geithner has created. McConnell went on to commend Speaker Boehner's efforts to keep his promise by cutting spending without tax hikes. McConnell asked again where is the President's plan? "All we have is a speech the CBO can't score and a veto threat." Republicans are the only ones with a proposal that gets to the root of the problem and can get to the President's desk. McConnell stated, "Boehner's improving his plan as we speak."


To that end, Boehner and the Republican leadership skipped their scheduled press

Republicans Skip Press Conference


conference this afternoon. Walking past the cameras, Speaker Boehner said, "We're making progress." Republicans could have taken the time to spin the deal and demagogue like the Democrats, but they were too busy... WORKING. Speaker Boehner and Republican leaders have the incredible task of satisfying the conference and producing a bill that does not violate the caucus position, "No new taxes; spending cuts equal to or greater than any increase; and a vote on a balanced budget amendment." In addition, the bill must have the ability to pass in the House and the Senate. This is nearly an impossible task, but as we say in the business world, "that's what you do first."


As stated, Sen. Pat Toomey would like to add a little "insurance." We told you earlier Reid objected to Sen. Toomey's bill, S. 1420 proceeding in the Senate. The bill prioritizes Treasury payments to bond holders, seniors and active duty military if a resolution to the debt ceiling debate is not reached. Sen. Toomey was back on the Senate floor this afternoon restating the need for such legislation and asking Democrats to bring it to the floor. Toomey knows President Obama under the guise of Treasury Secretary Geithner will be the one who "prioritizes" Treasury payments if it comes to that. Who will they choose to pay? Is it the opportunity for yet another crisis?


Treasury has publicly stated it is impossible to prioritize it's daily transactions. I said I found that curious from the beginning in that the New York Stock Exchange seems to be able to prioritize more transactions in a day than Treasury makes in a month. It seems Treasury may be backing away from their earlier claim. It's been reported that letters from the Treasury have gone out to major banks reassuring bond holders payments will be made if a debt ceiling deal isn't reached. Press Secretary Carney stated in the White House daily press briefing today if a deal for the debt ceiling is not reached the administration will announce how payments will be made. I'd say that's prioritization. When pressed for a specific date for the release of that information Carney had nothing to offer. Smoke and mirrors, while Republicans work.


Tonight the Wall Street Journal announce the new CBO score on the revised Boehner plan cuts the US budget deficit by $917B over ten years. This is more than the $900B debt ceiling increase the bill provides. It will shrink the deficit more than the CBO scored $850B in the original plan. The Hill is reporting $22B of the cuts will occur in 2012. It's improved. Promises kept. The House votes on the new Boehner plan on Thursday. Support is growing. The Hill is publishing and updating their "Whip List" saying, "If all the Democrats vote no, Republican leaders will have to minimize defections to about two dozen members. Let's get a Republican plan on Obama's desk, one way or another.





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