The Senate failed to get the 60 votes needed under the current, broken Senate rules to advance a bill raising the debt limit through 2014 early Saturday afternoon, with not one Republican joining Democrats to keep the United States from defaulting.
Some Senate Republicans continue working on a "compromise" plan, because even for allegedly semi-moderate Republicans, avoiding default is something over which hostage-taking is a reasonable goal. That proposal contains provisions that are probably a given at this point, like delaying a medical device tax for two years (medical device manufacturers having a lot of money which they spread around to a lot of politicians), but also reportedly contains some seriously worrying points, like:
... creating an income verification program under the Affordable Care Act to ensure only eligible individuals receive subsidies on the insurance exchanges.That would be a poison pill that would virtually shut the exchanges down; possibly related:
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is talking compromise:
McConnell, who has helped broker bipartisan deals in the past, has made clear that he's ready to talk, telling a home state newspaper that it's time for a "come together" moment and that he's wiling "to work with the government we have -- not the one I wish we had."As long as that doesn't mean Vice President Joe Biden gets involved and gives away the farm. Senate Democrats and the White House have stood strong to this point. They need to keep doing that, or Republicans will only be emboldened to continue their hostage-taking ways.