Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Closing in on Agreement
Markets rallied today as word leaked of a breakthrough in talks between Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell.
According to multiple media reports, the proposed deal would re-open the federal government until January 15th, while the nation's debt ceiling would be extended until February 7th. In addition, the Treasury Department would be allowed to use "extraordinary measures" to continue funding the government past February 7th, should the two sides have not agreed to an additional increase by that date.
The February 7th date is particularly important, as it would ensure that the nation could delay the next debt ceiling battle until after the conclusion of the all important holiday shopping season.
According to reports, the main points of the deal would be:
-government re-opened until January 15th
-debt ceiling raised until February 7th
-large budget negotiations would have to conclude by December 13th
-individuals receiving Obamacare subsidies would have to be certified to make sure that they meet the required income levels
-one year delay for Obamacare reinsurance tax
-Republicans would reportedly drop demand to kill Obamacare medical device tax
The deal is reportedly far enough along that President Obama delayed a planned meeting with congressional leaders in order to give McConnell and Reid more time to hammer out a deal.
Now, the possible wrench in the proceedings is the Republican controlled House of Representatives. Will they agree to this deal? According to reports, the short-term debt ceiling increase will likely end up cementing the deal, as House Representatives are loathe to agree to a long-term increase without substantial budget changes.
There is a chance that this deal could still go south, but McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner are in constant contact, which bodes well for a deal eventually going through.
After all, the nation has just a scant few days left to resolve the debt ceiling issue, or else it runs the risk, according to the Treasury Department, of slipping into a slowdown worse than the "Great Recession."
Filed under: General Knowledge