July 29th, 2011
09:02 PM ET

Senate Democrats block Boehner debt ceiling plan after House approval

Washington (CNN) - Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the nation's the debt ceiling and slash government spending narrowly passed the House on Friday and then was blocked by Senate Democrats, setting up a weekend of negotiations to seek a deal that would avoid a potential federal default next week.

The Senate vote was 59-41 to table the measure, which effectively kills it unless Democrats decide to bring it up again.

Earlier, Boehner's proposal was approved by the House in a sharply polarized 218-210 vote that was delayed by a day while the speaker rounded up support from wary tea party conservatives. No Democrats supported the measure, and 22 of the 240 members of the Republican majority also opposed it.

Even though it was blocked in the Senate, the Boehner plan now is the Republican negotiating position for hammering out a deal with congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama to avert a possible government default next week.

Friday's House vote was a critical test of Boehner's control over his tea party-infused GOP caucus. The speaker was forced to quell a right-wing revolt over the measure after a number of members complained that it doesn't do enough to shrink the size of government and stem the tide of Washington's red ink.

Boehner, R-Ohio, managed to sway several of those members by including a provision requiring congressional passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution before the debt ceiling can be extended through the end of 2012.

In his floor speech before the vote, Boehner called the proposal imperfect but necessary, and he criticized Obama and congressional Democrats for rejecting all deficit reduction measures passed by the House so far.

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Lori - PA

    This nonsense needs to end. Especially as it makes members of Congress and Senate look like spoiled brats. I'm so fed up that when it comes time to vote in November, I'm going with the write in option and then writing "None of the above".

    July 29, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  2. Lee

    I heard Congressman King ask why the Dems don't want a balanced budget. The Dems DID balance the budget, remember? The Republicans wasted that (obviously all those tax cuts didn't work) and pretended the wars didn't require any money by keeping those expenditures out of the budget. The Dems DO want a balanced budget; they just don't want to use nickel-and-dime cuts that don't really make a dent in the budget – they don't want to pretend they've done something useful; they actually want to DO something useful. Almost every republican I know blames people out of work for being out of work and not paying their own bills. They fail to see that if the country can't pay it's bills, it's the same thing, and something they're part of – and endorsing. And cutting something like Social Security is like stealing – those retired people paid in and expected to get their money back at the appropriate time. That's their money. Taxes need to be raised, starting with the wealthy and trickling down from there if necessary. Let me say again – the Dems DID balance the budget; the Republicans blew it.

    July 29, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  3. Meg

    The question to ask is if you don't raise taxes on the most wealthest and you will not have any income coming in then that mean you will be cutting. So the big question is whose child will not have food or medical and we know it won't will be the rich. If you know your history every great country has fallen, so the GOP you are succeeding with the prophecy.

    July 29, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
  4. Nancy D'Souza

    The Republicans promised to oppose what ever Obama does and they are fullfilling thier promise. They don't care for the average people and doesn't seem to have faintest idea how average Joe survives. I am one of the baby boomer who has lost 401K once and we are doing again. I am sure the Repulicans must have already transferred their in safe heaven. The common people like us taking the heat.
    It is high time our President invoke the 14th.

    July 29, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
  5. Adriano

    The new meaning of bipartisan talks for the Republican Party this days is the real hard core republicans trying to convince the tea partiers in republican costume to come on board with them at least to pretend they are Republicans. Forget about the Democrats. Simply a big Joke , I thought when Republicans alowed the tea patiers to became candidates under the Republican banner they told them that they supose to agree with the party they are representing. We have 3 political parties in all reality thats what the problem really is. The Republicans made a deal with you know who to win the elections last year and now we THE PEOPLE are paying the price of that deal with hight interest.

    July 29, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  6. Elisabeth

    I say that non of the House nor the Senate should received their salary...for a couple of mouths. Let the real people have their check sign. Andn please can someone make those clowns reach an agreement, so the interest rate don't get so high and us low and middle class people can survive the economic crisis. Those people in Washington make enough money and most of them make more then $250 000 a year...Come on! It's not a game neither just politics for regular people.

    July 29, 2011 at 9:52 pm |