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Congressional Insiders Poll: Will 'Biden Group' Meet Deadline for Deficit Deal? Congressional Insiders Poll: Will 'Biden Group' Meet Deadline for Defi...

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Congressional Insiders Poll

Congressional Insiders Poll: Will 'Biden Group' Meet Deadline for Deficit Deal?

Insiders assess prospects for a debt-ceiling deal.

Do you think that the “Biden group” will reach a bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling by July 4?

Democrats (33 votes)

Yes: 36%
No: 52%
Maybe (volunteered): 12%



“Mostly because the administration will cave on important issues. But any agreement they come to won’t be guaranteed of passage.”

“I believe that they will present a compromise to Congress, but I fear that the ‘deeper-cuts’ group will not support it.”


“Whether whatever ‘deal’ they reach can actually pass the House is another matter.”

“The continual negative coverage of the Greek debt crisis will push both sides to try to reach a deal in order to signal to the markets that political paralysis is not an inevitability in the U.S.”


“I believe that a bipartisan deal won’t be reached until mid- to late July.”


“Short-term extension of debt ceiling is possible, but hell will freeze over before the tea party lets [House Speaker John] Boehner compromise on this.”

“Biden has never met a deadline in his life.”

“First of all, [because of] recent comments from Senate leadership, Republicans and Democrats, suggesting a short-term fix hint that no agreement is near. Second, the ‘big stuff’ is yet to be sorted out.”

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“The Biden-led group needs to have a direct link between them and the expanding ‘Gang of Six’ to maximize the effectiveness of both. Bruce Reed may be best suited to play that role. If he does, chances of success rise appreciably.”

“Maybe in principle, but not in detail: The real question is whether it blows up the Republican or Democratic caucuses in the House.”

“If there is an agreement, it can’t win approval. If I knew how to play the market with a bet on default, I’d be rich.”


Do you think that the “Biden group” will reach a bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling by July 4?

Republicans (33 votes)

Yes: 21%
No: 79%


“The real question is whether there will be enough spending reform for a Republican House to support it. Getting a few members behind closed doors to agree to a plan is a far different task than getting enough support for it from the rank and file on the House floor.”

“Eric Cantor has been a star in these negotiations; he is realistic, understands the entire picture, and has the confidence of the Republican Conference.”

“This does not mean they will reach a deal that we will accept—only that they will reach a deal.”


“The White House has yet to come to grips with the fact that no Republican will vote for tax increases.”

“Great work from Cantor and [Sen. Jon] Kyl; but the White House wants taxes and, for the GOP, that’s a deal-breaker.”

“We cannot continue spending money we do not have. Without serious spending cuts, it would irresponsible to raise the debt ceiling.”

“Progress will be made, but it is unlikely that July 4 will be Independence Day and ‘Resolution Day.’ ”

“The House will, but the Senate will balk.”

“Conservatives are going to want to take a close look at whatever comes out after the bait and switch on the [continuing resolution]; and the fluff speeches at the end of their meetings don’t bode well for a deal any time soon, in my book.”

“As with most emergencies, it is likely debt-ceiling negotiations will stretch deep into July.”

“Around here, deadlines are more like alarm clocks.”


Do you think that Congress will cut off funds for U.S. military operations in Libya?

Democrats (33 votes)

Yes: 15%
No: 85%


“Republicans would be all for [the war] if Bush was in office; but since it’s Obama’s gig, they can’t support it.”

“I am not sure if cutting funds will be the final decision, but it is clear that we are heading toward a confrontation on this issue.”


“I think we should, but I think we won’t.”

“No, but politics really does make for strange bedfellows.”

“House may pass it by combining constitutionalists with anti-Obamaists. Senate will not follow suit.”

“Regardless of your opinion on the military action in Libya and how the president has handled it, most members do not vote to cut funding that could impact the safety of our nation’s forces.”

“But we will ‘fuss’ about it.”

“In fact, I’m not sure that we’ll even vote on it this year in the Senate.”

This article appears in the June 25, 2011 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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