The Two-Way
7:44 am
Tue July 19, 2011

'Cut, Cap And Balance' Heads To House Vote

Though the legislation is said to have "little chance in the Senate," the Republican-controlled House today is expected to easily approve the "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan that advocates say would put lawmakers on record as supporting moves to put the federal government's fiscal books in order.

And NPR's David Welna reported on Morning Edition that though the legislation isn't going to go anywhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate, "it could clear the way for a bipartisan fallback plan to avoid default."

David points out that:

"A vote for Cut, Cap and Balance could provide House Republicans some political cover, if they wish to support some other means of getting the debt ceiling raised in time to avoid default.

"House Speaker John Boehner late last week spoke of the upcoming vote as a necessary step to move forward: 'Let's get through that vote, and then we'll make decisions about what'll come after it.' "

Now, not all reports this morning reach that conclusion. Politico, for instance, writes that "the idea of seeking cover out of a symbolic vote is foreign — if not outright offensive — to the new breed of House Republicans."

As for the prospects of reaching agreement on deficit and debt reduction in time to also raise the federal government's debt ceiling by Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department says it will run out of room to borrow:

The Washington Post writes that "the current timeline, according to aides in both parties, would call for the Senate to unveil its bipartisan plan later this week and begin to consider it Saturday. With a week of parliamentary hurdles to clear, the Senate could pass its bill by July 29, leaving the House just four days to consider whether to approve the plan before Aug. 2, when the country would no longer be able to pay its bills."

Our colleague Frank James points out over at It's All Politics, even if Cup, Cap and Balance did get through the Senate, President Obama has vowed to veto the legislation. The White House calls the bill "Duck, Dodge and Dismantle."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.