Default drama down to the wire with vote margins uncertain.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced just after noon on Oct. 16 the results of an agreement with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling.
The version announced by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Tuesday, Oct. 15, was pulled from the House floor before a vote, presumably because it did not have enough votes to pass. Attention then shifted back to the Senate, where an agreement similar to the proposal announced yesterday will soon be introduced as S. 1569.
The Senate proposal would reopen the government, funding it until Jan. 15. It would also raise the debt limit until Feb. 7 to avert a first default on U.S. debt obligations. It also would require the House and Senate to name conferees for budget negotiations to reach a long-term spending accord. The plan does not include major concessions on President Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act, but does require greater steps to verify the incomes of individuals who apply for subsidies under that law. The bill also includes a provision requiring a proactive vote to disapprove extending the debt limit. This is referred to as the McConnell language, and if adopted may make it less likely that the debt ceiling votes can be used as political footballs.
The APA Science Government Relations Office has sent an Action Alert encouraging psychologists to email their members of Congress Wednesday afternoon in support of ending the government shutdown and avoiding a default. While the announcement of a bipartisan deal in the Senate is good news, it is not clear how the measure will fare in the House, so it isn’t too late to weigh in.