Instead of a Saturday vote on the House-passed “cut, cap and balance” bill, the Senate will vote on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced. The measure is expected to be voted down on a mostly party-line vote.
The expected defeat of the bill will clear the way for Senate action on a compromise measure to raise the debt ceiling. Reid is ready to start floor action on a compromise plan worked out with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., as soon as this weekend. Talks between House Republicans and the White House on a larger deficit reduction package are also continuing.
The bill, which passed Tuesday night 234-190 in the House, would eventually cap federal spending at 19.9 percent of GDP and requires Congress to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment before the debt limit can be raised.
Democrats have denounced the bill in colorful terms. Reid on Thursday called it “one of the worst pieces of legislation U.S. history.”
Obama called Congressional Democrats to the White House for a 5:30 p.m. meeting Thursday evening, according to a White House official. The meeting ended about 7:30. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., are expected to attend.