If the House of Representatives passes Speaker John Boehner’s debt limit bill on Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he’ll take up the legislation right away and, using procedural tools at his disposal, defeat it immediately.
“Today the House of Representatives will vote on Speaker Boehner’s short-term plan to raise the debt ceiling,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “As soon as the House completes its vote tonight, the Senate will move to take up that bill. It will be defeated. No Democrat will vote for a short-term Band-Aid that would put our economy at risk and put the nation back in this untenable situation a few short months from now.”
Often scheduling a vote in the Senate requires more than a two day wait. But to expedite the process, and to prove as swiftly as possible that Boehner’s plan is DOA in the Senate, Reid will move to table the bill. All Democrats will vote to table the legislation, Reid has said, and then it’s on to the next step.
In Senate-ese, from a leadership source: “As soon as the Senate receives the House Message (Boehner bill), a motion to concur with the House Message is made. The Leader moves to table the motion to concur (majority vote threshold). The Boehner plan is defeated in the Senate.”
In this scenario, a “yes” vote is actually a vote to defeat the Boehner bill.
Putting it more starkly, Reid’s spokesman, Adam Jentleson, tweeted, “Boehner’s bill dies tonight. Forever.”
Perhaps this will concentrate the minds in the House GOP on just what, if anything, they’re prepared to accept as compromise on the Boehner bill.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.