Real deadline for debt ceiling deal is Saturday
The House will vote on House Speaker John Boehner’s debt ceiling plan on Friday evening, and it is expected to approve it.
The Senate is then expected to approve a motion to table the measure, as early as Friday evening. That motion only requires a majority vote for approval.
The tabling motion will allow the Senate to use Boehner’s measure as a vehicle for a possible Senate compromise bill that would be worked out by Democrats and Republicans in the upper chamber.
If the two sides can reach such an agreement, Reid will file a cloture motion on the amendment to the Boehner bill on Friday night.
Reid’s motion would set up a vote as early as 1 a.m. Sunday to end debate on that amended measure. Sixty votes would be required to end the debate.
If that vote succeeds, it would set up a possible final vote on passage of the new measure at 7:30 a.m. Monday, according to the guidance.
This would give the House two full days to consider that measure before the deadline at the end of the day on Aug. 2 is reached.
Technically, according to a Democrat aide, a compromise amendment could be filed Saturday and still allow a final vote on Aug. 2 but this would cut things very close.
Once cloture is filed on the compromise legislation, it is very hard to rewrite the compromise. It would take unanimous consent in the Senate to vitiate the cloture motion, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) explained Friday. Seeking that is risky since some senators such as Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) vowing to block any debt ceiling increase.
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