Just 16 Republicans and 22 Democrats voted for the plan, which reduces the debt by trillions of dollars with a litany of spending cuts, including to safety-net programs and tax increases on high-income earners. The broad concept served as a sort-of model for failed discussions last year between President Obama and Speaker John Boehner, and the Wednesday vote is a sign that such an approach has fallen on deaf ears in both parties. [...]Hoyer is still looking for takers on his Third Way-inspired "grand bargain" austerity plan, which he hopes to conclude in the lame duck session when policy-makers are unaccountable to their constituents and can work happily behind closed doors. The rejection of this budget plan hopefully means that Hoyer is going to have a hard time finding colleagues to join him.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a vocal advocate for restarting talks on a Bowles-Simpson-style grand bargain, explained his vote against the plan.
“In order to achieve a big and balanced deficit-reduction package, we must build a broad consensus,” Hoyer said in a statement. The Cooper-LaTourette measure, he fretted, “came to the floor before that broad consensus could be achieved, which is why I voted against it. … I continue to believe that the Bowles-Simpson model should be a basis for ongoing discussions in the effort to create the needed consensus.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
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