One question that is certain to come up in this media environment is which side won? At first blush, it would appear the Republicans surrendered less than the Democrats because there is nothing in it that suggests tax increases are going to be part of it.
House Speaker John Boehner already has suggested that the GOP got almost everything it wanted in the deal. And at least one news organization reported that the absence of tax increases on America's wealthy and corporations suggests the president will appear weakened.
My expectation is that the initial media conversation will focus on the deal, but the "who won?" question will not be far from the surface.
ORIGINAL POST: Our nation (almost certainly) is not going to default on its debt obligations!
President Obama announced late Sunday night (EDT) that an agreement between top Democrats and Republicans in Congress, and the White House has been reached.
Standing in the way of the deal is approval by Congress. And as Politico reports in this breaking news alert it sent at 8:53 p.m. EDT, the president is urging both parties to do that.
President Barack Obama announced Sunday night that congressional leaders have reached an agreement to cut the deficit and avoid default and urged members of Congress to ratify it.
"Is this the deal I would have preferred? No," said the president in a brief statement from the White House. But he said it will begin "to lift the cloud of debt and uncertainty" over the economy.The New York Times sent its news alert a few minutes before that, and it suggested:
The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate announced Sunday night that they had reached a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and avert a default.
President Obama spoke moments later at the White House, telling reporters that “the leaders of both parties in both chambers have reached an agreement that will reduce the deficit and avoid a default.”
“My message to the world tonight is that this nation and this Congress are moving forward and we are moving forward together,” Senator Harry Reid of Nevada said from the floor of the Senate.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said, “There is now a framework to review that will ensure significant cuts in Washington’s spending.”On its live blog, the Wall Street Journal outlined the plan's details:
The announcement came even as House Speaker John A. Boehner was holding a conference call with his Republican members.
The emerging plan would raise the debt ceiling by $2.4 trillion in three stages and provide initially for roughly $900 billion in spending cuts over 10 years. A special committee of lawmakers would be charged with finding another $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction through a tax overhaul and changes to safety-net programs.
The debt ceiling increase would be done in three phases: $400 billion initially; another $500 billion later this year would be subject to a congressional vote of disapproval; a third increase of $1.5 trillion which would provide the government with enough cash to cover all its bills through 2012, also be subject to vote of disapproval.