Political Buzz Debt Ceiling Showdown July 31, 2011: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Backs Debt Deal — Senate Vote Sunday Evening


By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks to reporters as he leaves after meeting with House Democratic leadership on the debt ceiling crises on Capitol Hill in Washington July 31, 2011. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts


“Senator Reid has signed off on the debt-ceiling agreement pending caucus approval.” — Harry Reid Spokesman Adam Jentleson

“I’ve had, for the information of senators, a number of conversations in the last hour with people downtown – and the arrangement that is being worked on with the Republican leader and the administration and others is not there yet…. We’re hopeful and confident it can be done. As soon as it is done, I’ll let my caucus know.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

Reid says hopes to hold Senate debt vote tonight: Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said on Sunday he hopes to hold a Senate vote tonight on an emerging deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.
Asked if the Senate would vote tonight on the plan, Reid said “we hope to” as he left a meeting with other congressional Democratic leaders… – Reuters, 7-31-11


  • Reid says he has signed onto a debt ceiling deal: The Senate’s top Democrat said Sunday that he has signed onto a debt ceiling deal with President Barack Obama and Republican leaders, pending approval of his caucus.
    The statement from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was the first confirmation of a pending deal after legislative leaders dropped hints all day that an agreement was close… – CNN, 7-31-11
  • Reid Backs Debt Deal and Hopes for Sunday Night Debt Vote: 5:29 p.m. | Updated A spokesman for Senator Harry Reid said the Senate majority leader has “signed off on the debt-ceiling agreement pending caucus approval.”
    Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, also raised the possibility that his chamber might vote as early as Sunday night on a yet-to-be-announced debt ceiling compromise designed to avert a potential economic crisis this week. When he emerged from a two-hour meeting with other Democratic lawmakers and was asked whether the Senate would vote on a deal Sunday.
    “I hope so,” he told a swarm of reporters.
    A Sunday vote seemed unlikely just a few hours earlier as top lawmakers and the White House continued to work behind closed doors to finalize a debt agreement that would cut spending by more than $2.5 trillion and raise the debt ceiling into 2013…. – NYT, 7-31-11
  • Amid New Talks, Some Optimism on Debt Crisis: New budget talks between top Congressional Republicans and President Obama made progress late Saturday, suddenly stirring optimism that a last-minute deal could be reached to avert a potential federal default that threatened significant economic and political consequences.
    After a tense day of Congressional floor fights and angry exchanges, Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, called off a planned showdown vote set for after midnight, but said he would convene the Senate at noon on Sunday for a vote an hour later. He said he wanted to give the new negotiations a chance to produce a plan to raise the federal debt limit in exchange for spending cuts and the creation of a new Congressional committee that would try to assemble a long-range deficit-cutting proposal.
    “There are many elements to be finalized and there is still a distance to go before an arrangement can be completed,” said Mr. Reid, who just a few hours earlier had played down talk of any agreement. “But I believe we should give everyone as much room as possible to do their work.”
    Mr. Reid’s announcement set off an almost audible sigh of relief on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers and their aides had been bracing for an overnight clash over the debt following a day that had seen a heated House vote and lawmakers trudging from office to office in search of an answer to the impasse…. – NYT, 7-31-11
  • White House, GOP race toward debt compromise: Just two days before the federal government’s Aug. 2 deadline to avoid economic default, lawmakers and White House negotiators are scrambling to hammer out an agreement for raising the debt ceiling – but despite talk of an impending deal, leading Democrats say they’re “not there yet.”
    Just minutes after Senate Republicans voted to block Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Democratic bill to raise the nation’s borrowing limit on Sunday, lawmakers turned their focus to ongoing negotiations between President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who are working on a deal that would extend the debt limit through 2012 and cut up to $3 trillion in spending during the next 10 years.
    That deal proposes $3 trillion in cuts that would come in two waves. The first wave would include $1 trillion in reductions. A bipartisan “super congressional committee” would then need to determine the second round of cuts by Thanksgiving of 2011. If Congress failed to agree on that second round of cuts, automatic “trigger” cuts would be made.
    McConnell said Sunday afternoon that negotiators were “really, really close to an agreement,” but leading Democrats maintain that the deal is “not there yet.”… – CBS News, 7-31-11
  • ‘Really close’ to debt deal as deadline nears: Racing to avoid a government default, President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders reached urgently for a compromise Sunday to permit vital borrowing by the Treasury in exchange for more than $2 trillion in long-term spending cuts. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the two sides were “really, really close” to a deal after months of partisan fighting. Yet he and others stressed that no compromise had been sealed, just two days before a deadline to raise the federal debt limit and enable the government to keep paying its bills.
    As contemplated under a deal that McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden were negotiating, the federal debt limit would rise in two stages by at least $2.2 trillion, enough to tide the Treasury over until after the 2012 elections…. – AP, 7-31-11
  • Political left and right decry debt-ceiling deal: Signs are emerging that a possible compromise to raise the debt ceiling doesn’t pass muster with those on the political left or right…. – USA Today, 7-31-11
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