This morning the Senate rejected the House-passed Cut, Cap, and Balance Act by voting along party lines 51-46 to table the bill. Following the vote, the Senate adjourned until Monday. The adjournment wasn’t surprising, since Democrats continue to insist that revenue enhancements be a part of any final deal and all revenue measures must be initiated in the House. Therefore a deal that Democrats would agree to would have to first pass the House before the Senate could vote on it.
Failure of the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act in the Senate means the focus will now shift to a number of other possible solutions to the debt ceiling crisis. These include a “grand bargain” comprehensive mix of revenues and discretionary and entitlement cuts reportedly being discussed by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and President Obama, the fallback Senate plan involving three incremental debt ceiling increases being prepared by Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Harry Reid (D-NV), and the recently released “Gang of Six” plan that would likely require a short-term debt ceiling increase to buy time for passage. Eleven days now remain until the August 2 deadline.