By Alexander Bolton and Josiah Ryan - 07/30/11 02:24 AM EDT
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe Trail 2016: Focus on the Foundation Dear Cory Booker: How's that 'Camden Rising' thing working out? Reid to Trump: 'Put up or shut up' on immigration test MORE (D-Nev.) has revised his plan to raise the debt limit in a last-ditch bid to attract Republican support.
The biggest change is that Reid would give the president almost unilateral power to raise the debt limit, borrowing an idea introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellGiffords-backed gun control group endorses Toomey, Kirk Republicans say party can’t afford to cut ties to Trump McConnell calls for ObamaCare money to be used for Zika MORE (R-Ky.).
Reid would have President Obama request a $2.4 trillion debt-limit increase in two installments of $1.2 trillion each. The requests would be subject to congressional resolutions of disapproval, but these would do little to restrict the president.
According to a Senate Democratic aide, Reid also increased the total level of spending cuts from $2.2 trillion to $2.4 trillion, in part by using the January baseline — a budget maneuver House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerNew Trump campaign boss took shots at Ryan on radio show Election reveals Paul Ryan to be worst speaker in U.S. history Getting rid of ObamaCare means getting rid of Hillary MORE (R-Ohio) used on a previous version of his debt-limit plan. The January budget baseline does not count cuts Congress implemented in legislation passed this spring to avert a government shutdown.
So far Reid has had trouble attracting Republicans to his bill. Centrist Republican Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.) said he would vote for it, but otherwise it has received scant bipartisan support.
Reid filed a motion on Friday evening to end a GOP filibuster of his plan, setting up a vote for early Sunday morning. Reid would need 60 votes and support from at least seven Republicans to advance his proposal.
Reid accused McConnell of filibustering at the "worst possible time" by not allowing a simple majority vote, while McConnell said Republicans would support an immediate vote with a 60-vote threshold.
Senate Republicans are accusing Reid of hypocrisy and pointing to prior comments in which he said 60-vote supermajorities were necessary for "just about everything" in the Senate.
Reid said his plan is what the American people want: a compromise.
"The proposal I have put forward is a reasonable compromise," Reid said. "It gives Democrats what they want, and it gives Republicans what they want. If we do nothing, our country will fail to pay its bills for the first time in history. Social Security checks could stop. Paychecks to our troops could stop."