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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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Magazine / Congressional Insiders Poll

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

Insiders assess prospects for a debt-ceiling deal.

June 23, 2011

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.”


“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.”

“Republican hawks will never really permit this but will posture.”

“At the end of the day, Congress hates Qaddafi more than the president.”


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

Republicans (33 votes)

Yes: 46%
No: 52%
Uncertain (volunteered): 3%


“There will be deference to the commander in chief as to timing, but ultimately the funds will end if the White House doesn’t act first.”

“We cannot continue to send troops into missions that do not have defined objectives and exit strategies.”

“Even the president’s legal counsel thinks the operations are against the law.”

“Congress should have stood up to the president right from the start of this misadventure; we were not attacked and have no vital U.S. interest. Time for us to completely reassess NATO.”


“The House might, but the Senate won’t. Indeed, they will never even have a vote.”

“Ultimately, there isn’t the political will in the U.S. Senate to effectively defund military operations in Libya.”

“There will be noise about it, but it is not a fight worth having right now.”

“While there is significant momentum for such action in the House, it remains to be seen whether the Senate would take steps to cut off funding.”

“The split in the Democratic Caucus, I hope, does not endanger our troops. I hope Leader [Nancy] Pelosi understands the House GOP is not using the Libya situation for political gain.”

“But we’ll limit—no ground troops.”


“If the president does not answer some basic questions, there is a risk that funding will be denied.”


Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Mark Pryor, Jon Tester, Tom Udall, Mark Warner; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly , Jim Cooper, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Alcee Hastings, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Steve Israel, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Silvestre Reyes, Linda Sanchez, Jan Schakowsky, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, Pete Stark, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Lamar Alexander, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, Jeff Sessions, Olympia Snowe, John Thune, David Vitter; Reps. Michele Bachmann, Brian Bilbray, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, Charlie Dent, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Darrell Issa, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, Pete Sessions, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson. 

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