U.S. Senate may introduce debt ceiling measure today

Posted Oct 8, 2013 by William M. Schmalfeldt
According to the Associated Press, the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate could introduce a measure to pass a clean resolution to raise the nation's debt ceiling as early as Tuesday.
Democrat Harry Mason Reid  Senate Majority Leader  is the senior United States Senator from Nevada.
Democrat Harry Mason Reid, Senate Majority Leader, is the senior United States Senator from Nevada.
Deseret News
As AP writes, a spokesman said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid could reveal the measure as early as Tuesday, setting the table for a test vote later in the week. It is expected to offer enough borrowing room to last beyond next year's election, which means it likely will permit $1 trillion or more in new borrowing above the current $16.7 trillion debt ceiling that the administration says will be hit on Oct. 17. The measure will likely not include new spending cuts sought by Republicans.
If passed by the Senate, the bill would place the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in the position of having to either bolt from the Tea Party position of "no debt ceiling increase without significant concessions from President Obama" or being held responsible for a default that would have far-reaching and long-lasting impacts on the global economy.
The U.S. government shutdown is now in its ninth day.
Unclear at the moment is whether Sen. Reid's plan would work in the Senate, where Republican Senators could filibuster a cloture vote on the measure. Again, the optics would be damaging to the Republican party, proving again their unwillingness to ensure the good faith and credit of the United States of America unless they get what they want as a ransom. Sen. Reid has the ability to invoke what is called "the nuclear option" as part of an agreement earlier this year, by which the Senate leader could make a change in the Senate rules to allow passage of a measure on a simple majority vote.
It will be interesting to see who in the Senate engages in a filibuster, as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Whip John Cornyn of Texas, have voted for so-called clean debt limit increases during Republican administrations. And some Senators seem skittish about engaging in a filibuster that could rattle the markets.
"We shouldn't be dismissing anything out of hand, whether it's the debt ceiling or what we're going to do with this government shutdown," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said. "We've got a situation where you've got a calendar running, you've got people who are frustrated and upset, so let's figure it out."
A survey released Monday by The Washington Post and ABC News said disapproval of Republican handling of the budget showdown was measured at 70 percent, up from 63 percent a week earlier. Disapproval of Obama's role was statistically unchanged at 51 percent.