The PJ Tatler

Reid Hails 'Surrender' of GOP in Debt Deal Bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised House Republicans for “surrender” in passing a debt ceiling hike tied to the “No Budget, No Pay” act yesterday.

“This bill surrenders the hostage Republicans have taken in the past by decoupling the full faith and credit of the United States from cuts to Social Security and Medicare, or anything else,” Reid said. “In substance, this is a clean debt limit increase that will set the precedent for future debt ceiling extensions. By passing this bill, Republicans are joining Democrats to say we will not hold the full faith and credit of the United States hostage, and we will pay our bills.”

Reid promised that “this year the Senate will return to regular order, and move a budget resolution through the Budget Committee and to the Senate floor.”

Under the GOP action, they have three months to move a budget forward — as that’s the length of the debt limit extension.

“House Republicans had to add a gimmick or two to get their bill past the Tea Party. But to spare the middle class another knock-down, drag-out fight, the Senate will proceed to and seek to pass the House bill. We will seek an agreement with Republicans to bring the bill to the floor in the coming days,” Reid said.

“I want to give credit where credit is due, and thank Speaker Boehner for his leadership here in defusing another fight over the debt ceiling.”

At a press conference after passage, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the onus is now on the upper chamber to behave responsibly.

“With the passage of this bill today, it’s pretty clear that we’re sending a message to the Democrat-controlled Senate that it’s time to do your job. … The principal I think is pretty simple: no budget, no pay,” Boehner said.

“Listen, American families have to do a budget. They understand you can’t continue to spend money that you don’t have. We’re committed to doing a budget on the House side – a budget that will balance over the next 10 years. It’s time for the Senate and the president to show the American people how they’re willing to balance the budget over the next 10 years.”

The deal passed the House 285-144. Eighty-six Democrats joined with the GOP, while 33 Republicans voted against it.

One of those opposed was Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

“While I support the concept of the ‘No Budget, No Pay’ bill, the 27th Amendment to our Constitution specifically says ‘No law, varying the compensation for services of Senators and Representatives shall take effect’ until after an intervening election. The language is clear and unambiguous.  I support the spirit of the bill, but it did not meet Constitutional standards,” King said. “Each member takes their own oath of fidelity to the constitution, and I respect the view of my colleagues who disagree. In order to keep my oath to the Constitution, my only choice was to vote no.”