Huffington Post 7/30/11
WASHINGTON — With just three days left until the country is set to begin defaulting on its debt, the House rejected a debt proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Saturday — a move Republicans designed purely for theatrics to show the bill lacked the votes to pass.
The bill was rejected by a vote of 173 to 246. Eleven Democrats joined all of the House Republicans in opposing Reid’s bill. The defecting Democrats included Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Bruce Braley (Iowa), David Loebsack (Iowa), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Mike Ross (Ark.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Peter Visclosky (Ind.) and David Wu (Ore.).
Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) headed to the White House to discuss the state of play with President Barack Obama shortly after the bill went down.
House Republicans pushed Reid’s bill through via a restrictive voting process: The measure was taken up on the suspension calendar, which requires a two-thirds vote to pass, bars amendments and limits debate to 40 minutes.
Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), who sits on the House Rules Committee, called the day’s business “a joke,” “a disgrace” and “an insult to the American people.”
The effect of taking up Reid’s bill on the suspension calendar — a move typically reserved for noncontroversial measures — is “a $2.5 trillion bill being brought up under the same process used for post offices,” McGovern said.