By multiple accounts, Democrats left Thursday's White House meeting unhappy.
That leaves us at crunch time. After Friday's symbolic vote on Cut, Cap, and Balance, the President and Congressional leaders will have about 48 hours to announce a deal that can pass both Houses. If that doesn't happen, Reid will file cloture on a fallback plan -- Plan Z -- he's negotiated with Mitch McConnell to avert catastrophe. According to top Senate Democratic and Republican aides, that plan's largely written, sitting on a shelf, and ready to go if the prospects for a bigger deal diminish.
Filing cloture won't take a bigger deal off the table, but it will at least give the Senate enough time to pass a backup plan that could reach the House 72 hours before the August 2 deadline. However once Sunday's deadline passes, it will become more difficult to get a bill through the Senate in time to pass the House, potentially creating the need for a short-term extension.
Although nobody from the White House nor House leadership will confirm any of the details of the Obama-Boehner deal, apparently one of the ideas is to link tax reform with the individual mandate: if tax reform isn't implemented, the individual mandate would be repealed. According to Beutler, that idea has been pushed by Eric Cantor for several weeks now.
Join the discussion in brooklynbadboy's diary, "TPM: Dems angry with Obama, Reid ready to move on McConnell/Reid."
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