The Washington Post

Another crack in the dam?

Massachusetts-based WBUR Tweets that Scott Brown is now saying he could support Harry Reid’s debt ceiling proposal:

Sen. Brown tells WBUR parties need to work across the aisle to resolve debt-ceiling impasse; he’d vote for Reid’s plan

There’s no story up on the WBUR web site on this, so I checked in with the reporter who conducted the interview with Senator Brown, and she confirmed that he did say he’d back Reid’s proposal, though she has no recording of the interview.

“He said he would support Reid’s or Boehner’s plan, because they save us from default and have spending cuts,” the reporter, Monica Brady-Myerov, said.

A spokesman for Senator Brown didn’t immediately return an email for comment.

Senator Brown is obviously more moderate than many in his caucus, so this isn’t as significant as it might be, but every little crack in the dam helps. Senator Bob Corker said this morning that raising the debt ceiling in stages — as the House GOP plan does — risks creating economic uncertainty and harming the recovery.

Meanwhile, Reid described his proposal today as the “last train” out of the default station, and invited Mitch McConnell to join him in negotiations over how a compromise might be reached that Senate Republicans can support.

Obviously it’s unlikely at best that GOP Senators will embrace Reid’s plan as is, but the more Republicans move off the House GOP position the better it bodes for the negotiations to come. We shall see...

UPDATE: Okay, I’ve got a direct quote for you. Here’s what Scott Brown told the Boston-based Tom and Todd Show this morning (audio here):

I voted for cut, cap and balance. I voted for the Boehner bill. And I’ll vote for the Reid bill... My hope is that today they’ll probably do the posturing, Boehner will come forward, then Reid will come forward, they’ll both fail, and then they’ll finally get down to business, which is taking the best of both bills and putting them together and then passing it.

UPDATE II: Brown spokesman Colin Reed emails:

We are days away from default. Senator Brown will support a bill that contains spending cuts and doesn’t increase taxes and allows us to avoid default. That could be a Republican bill, or a Democrat bill — it doesn’t matter. He believes we need to set aside our party loyalties and get the job done for the people we represent

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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