The Senate voted 53-45 to block a Democratic bill that would raise the debt ceiling through 2014 without any spending cuts or changes to Obamacare. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has warned that the U.S. could default around Oct. 17 unless Congress agrees to lift the borrowing cap.
The move came as Senate Democrats rejected a proposal for a six-month extension of government funding and a debt limit increase through January. But it asked for a delay in Obamacare's medical device tax for two years and a requirement for income verification for Obamacare subsidies.
The plan appeared to be the best hope of bipartisan compromise, as it was floated by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Though it's unlikely House Republicans would have accepted the proposal, as they've pushed for only a six-week increase on the debt ceiling, without a plan to reopen the federal government.
And while financial markets have remained largely calm over the past week in anticipation of a debt ceiling agreement, the weekend's dour news from Capitol Hill has most everyone on edge.
Reid rejecting Collins plan is pretty momentous. Means we really could go past Oct. 17.- Jonathan Strong (@j_strong) October 12, 2013
But Democratic consultant Peter Fenn expressed sympathy for the Senate Democratic position. Fenn wrote on Facebook:
How about this:
Repubs: Can I burn down your house?
Repubs: Can I set fire to the 2nd floor?
Repubs: Can I set fire to your garage?
Repubs: YOU WON'T COMPROMISE!
Politix, and via Politico.