Exasperation is high on Capitol Hill, as the House and Senate barrel ahead with unrelated debt ceiling plans, neither of which resemble the “grand bargain” President Obama wanted. Today, John Boehner will hold a vote on his so-called “Cut, Cap, and Balance” bill, which calls for $5.8 trillion in unspecified cuts and a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget and making it harder to raise taxes. The White House mocked the bill as the “duck, dodge, and dismantle” measure, Politico reports, and has vowed a veto.
The Senate is working on a bipartisan bill, but even there, nerves were fraying. “What will it take,” Harry Reid demands, “for my Republican colleagues to wake up to the fact that they’re playing a game of political chicken with the entire global economy?” Even if all goes according to plan, the Senate won’t vote on its compromise until July 29, giving the House just four days to pass it before Aug. 2—and there’s no guarantee it will, the Washington Post reports. Things are getting “very, very scary,” one top Senate Democrat said, even for those “who believe government should be small enough to drown in a bathtub.”