While GOP House Speaker John Boehner was complaining that the newly inaugurated President Obama was set to “annihilate the Republican Party,” Senate Majority Leader was praising Boehner for passing a bill to raise the federal debt limit which “surrenders” the Republican extremism of the past.
Unlike 2011 in which congressional Republicans turned an increase in the federal debt ceiling into a partisan battle over steep federal budget cuts, the House Wednesday approved a bill which decouples an increase in the debt ceiling from spending cuts.
“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. 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 says.
“Over the last two years, the bipartisan Budget Control Act set spending levels in place of a Congressional Budget. As Senator [Patty] Murray [D-Wash.] announced today, this year the Senate will return to regular order, and move a budget resolution through the Budget Committee and to the Senate floor. 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 adds.
“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. The middle class has been telling us they do not want another crisis, and this bill gives them the security they deserve,” Reid says.
WATCH VIDEO OF A DEMOCRATIC PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE DEBT CEILING DEAL HERE: