Washington is aflutter after top leaders from both parties announced they have agreed to a debt deal. The President gave a statement just after 8:30 p.m. from the White House to make the announcement. Senators Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell preempted him by a few minutes when they announced the same thing to the Senate floor. The details of the bill have not been formally released yet, but seem to be similar to what was revealed Sunday afternoon. Obama said in his announcement there was about $1 trillion in spending cuts, and that the deal was made with both parties in both chambers. A special committee has until November to determine another $1.5 trillion in spending cuts. The President said nothing was sacred, that the committee could recommend cutting anything. Congress will have until December to decide to adopt their suggestions or not.
"This process has been messy and it's taken far too long. Ultimately, the leaders of both parties have found their way to compromise," Obama said in his speech. Brian Williams of NBC News said the bill is likely to go to a vote in Congress Monday.
John Boehner had a conference call with House Republicans Sunday night to go over the latest deal. During his statements at the beginning of the call, Boehner did everything short of actually saying "we won." Slate's Dave Weigal has the entire transcript of the Speaker's remarks:
The press has been filled with reports all day about an agreement. There’s no agreement until we’ve talked to you. There is a framework in place that would cut spending by a larger amount than we raise the debt limit, and cap future spending to limit the growth of government. It would do so without any job-killing tax hikes. And it would also guarantee the American people the vote they have been denied in both chambers on a balanced budget amendment, while creating, I think, some new incentives for past opponents of a BBA to support it.
My hope would be to file it and have it on the floor as soon as possible. I realize that’s not ideal, and I apologize for it. But after I go through it, you’ll realize it’s pretty much the framework we’ve been operating in.
Since Day One of this Congress, we’ve gone toe-to-toe with the Obama Administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate on behalf of our people we were sent here to represent.
Remember how this all started: the White House demanded a “clean” debt limit hike with no spending cuts and reforms attached. We stuck together, and frankly made them give up on that.
Then they shifted to demanding a “balanced” approach – equal parts spending cuts and tax hikes. With this framework, they’ve given up on that, too.
I’m gonna tell you, this has been a long battle – we’ve fought valiantly – and frankly we’ve done it by listening to the American people. And as a result, our framework is now on the table that will end this crisis in a manner that meets our principles of smaller government.
Now listen, this isn’t the greatest deal in the world. But it shows how much we’ve changed the terms of the debate in this town.
There is nothing in this framework that violates our principles. It’s all spending cuts. The White House bid to raise taxes has been shut down. And as I vowed back in May – when everyone thought I was crazy for saying it – every dollar of debt limit increase will be matched by more than a dollar of spending cuts. And in doing this, we’ve stopping a job-killing national default that none of us wanted.
His words seem to have worked. Fox News's Chad Pergram reported there were no Republicans on the call opposed to the deal. Both parties are meeting separately Monday morning before a vote later that night.
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