CNN just broke in. POTUS is making a statement shortly. Press is assembling.
Open thread on this one, I guess.
UPDATE: Scheduled time of statement is 8:40p ET.
8:32p - Harry Reid live from Senate floor. Says they have a deal. Meet with their caucuses tomorrow. Admits neither party can pass this legislation alone.
I can't tell where Boehner is on this. Apparently Reid plans a statement later as well. I'm unclear on the timing at the moment for POTUS and then Reid.
8:33p - McConnell now speaking. Tax increases bad. Have to meet with his conference in the AM. Will discuss the framework. He can say with high degree of confidence that there is now a framework in place to ensure high degree of cuts.
He isn't guaranteeing there's a deal - just that he'll recommend one to his member.
CNN now has to fill five minutes with total speculation and "unnamed" sources of this or that.
Now, at 8:38p, Lemon breaks in that Administration says they HAVE a deal.
Not a peep out of Boehner or Pelosi thus far. Not sure what's going on here, or how there could be a deal when Boehner is in the middle of his conference call with his caucus at this very moment.
Here we go with POTUS.
Still important votes to be taken by Congress. Both parties in both chambers have reached agreement to reduce deficit and avoid default.
Part 1 cuts $1T over 10 years. Lowest level of annual domestic spending since Eisenhower. Still invest in jobs, education and research. Not abrupt to guard fragile economy.
Have to ask wealthiest Americans to pay fair share. Democrats have to be willing to "touch" Medicare. 2nd part establishes bipartisan committee. Proposals to reduce deficit. Up or down vote.
Everything on table in this. Everyone held accountable. Tough cuts if no action. Continue to fight for balanced approach.
Not deal he preferred. Could have made choices NOW not through Committee process. But Committee process provides strong incentive to figure it out.
NO reconsideration of debt ceiling until 2013 (or end of 2012?).
And that's it - statement over at 8:45p ET. I am still really curious to see what's going on with the House folks. Something about this feels like he's trying to force the issue, but now Borger says that she believes Obama's gotten assurances from Pelosi that she can deliver her caucus to overcome even 80-100 Republican House no votes. Huh.
UPDATE, 8:54p ET: Since we're all talking about "The Deal", let me provide an excerpt from the Miami Herald about what's in the deal:
-Spending cuts of $900 billion over 10 years on discretionary items, primarily education, housing and transportation programs that Congress can more easily control.
-No tax increases.
-A 12-member, bipartisan legislative committee to recommend further spending cuts, with the goal to come up with $1.5 trillion. If it fell short, the rest would be made up with automatic spending cuts, about half from defense and the rest from non-defense programs. Social Security, Medicare and veterans benefits would be exempt.
-A multi-step debt-limit increase, starting with $400 billion immediately. A $500 billion increase would take effect this fall, unless Congress rejected it, although that's unlikely because even if lawmakers said no, President Barack Obama would be likely to veto the action and Democrats would have the numbers to sustain the veto.
A third increase of $1.5 trillion - expected to be enough to get through next year - would occur after the committee's action, or the automatic cuts, went into effect.
My first vote for Committe participation is Bernie Sanders.