Harry Reid: Republicans Have Until Midnight to Approve His Debt Plan [Updated]

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Photo: Associated Press

Much happened in Congress today, the first day of the last weekend before the United States defaults, after which point America won't even be qualified to rent a Zipcar. Unfortunately, in this historically bad Congress, "much" means quarreling, posturing, and political Hot Potato tournaments. The House, after seeing its Republican-backed plan disappear in the Senate, gave the symbolic hand to Senator Harry Reid's bill in a 173–246 vote.

The two parties then huddled in their respective locker rooms to figure out their next plays (fumbles, probably). But before Reid went to the White House to meet with Obama, he expressed his frustration in a press conference, telling GOP members that they had until midnight to resolve this. (A vote is expected for around 1 a.m.) House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are currently preparing their retort, which they'll deliver in their own press conference soon. After Tuesday, only the press conference sector of the economy will have any money left.

UPDATE: Boehner and McConnell emerged from wherever it is Republicans go when they're not on TV and assured us that the worst thing that could ever happen "is not going to happen." Said McConnell, "We now have a level of seriousness with the right people at the table that we need and thought we had last weekend." Unusually positive, the pair indicated that, after having spoken to Obama within the hour, they believed a compromise might be reached before the wee-hours vote in Congress tonight. Cable news networks are now focusing their cameras on the White House, where Reid, Pelosi, and other top Dems are engaged in another long meeting with the president.

House Rejects Reid Debt Ceiling Proposal [Caucus/NYT]
GOP Leaders Claim Debt Deal Is Close [CNN]