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Posted at 01:47 PM ET, 07/21/2011

Debt-ceiling drama: The House takes the weekend off


Did you see the tweet from @GOPLeader (that’s House Majority Leader Eric Cantor [R-Va.]) yesterday? “Members are advised that the House will not be in session this weekend.” The nation is hurtling toward default — Aug. 2 is just 12 days away — with no agreement in sight to avert it, and the House of Representatives is going to take the weekend off? As they would say in the Twitterverse, “#SMH” — or, shake my head. (Follow me at @capehartj, by the way.)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) isn’t happy about it. As you may recall, the Senate is staying in session until an agreement is done. He decried the decision when he took to the floor of that chamber today.

I think this is a very bad picture to have the House out this weekend when we have to likely wait for them to send us something, because as I understand the negotiations taking place deal with revenues which constitutionally have to start in the House. . . . I think it is just untoward. That’s the kindest word I can say.... What a bad picture.

Separately on this very issue, I sent an e-mail to Brad Dayspring, press secretary to Cantor. Why did his boss say the House would not be in session this weekend, I asked? Is there nothing the House can do during that time to prepare for whatever comes over from the Senate vis-a-vis the Gang of Six, I wondered? Does the fact that the House will not be in session mean that the majority leader and the speaker will not be involved in talks/discussions/negotiations over the weekend, I queried? Here’s Dayspring’s response:

The House has passed the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ plan with bipartisan support and is left waiting for Leader Reid and Senate to act on it.  As for the Gang of Six, Senator Durbin himself has said that it’s not ready for prime time and Senator Reid has given no indication they are sending anything over remotely related to it.  It has been 813 days since Senator Reid has passed a budget.  At that pace, Senator Reid may be ready to move something related to the Gang of Six by 2015.   In the meantime, House Members are available and ready to be in session if the Senate sends something our way.

Well, Dayspring lands a punch on that whole Senate-hasn’t-passed-a-budget thing. But the time for political point-scoring on either side has long passed. The clock is clicking inexorably towards default.  

By  |  01:47 PM ET, 07/21/2011

 
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