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Word on the Hill - Debt Ceiling Update

After the Senate voted down the "Cut, Cap, and Balance Act" this morning, reports from Capitol Hill are surfacing that Speaker Boehner and President Obama are eyeing up a deal for Wednesday of next week.

Roll Call reports:

According to a GOP lawmaker, during a closed-door meeting Friday morning, the Ohio Republican indicated the hope is that a deal could be on the floor Wednesday, which would give the Senate five days to break any potential filibusters and pass the measure.

But the Republican lawmaker said that a Wednesday vote would likely require a final deal with “real numbers” in it and would need to be done by Monday because of continuing resentment within the Republican Conference over Boehner’s handling of the continuing resolution. The lawmaker said there is “lingering skepticism because of the CR” fight.

The report goes on to say that while Boehner continues to publicly deny any deal is in the works, his denial follows a similar pattern as during the FY 2011 "Continuing Resolution" fight to keep the government funded earlier this year, where Boehner repeatedly denied any deal until it came to the floor.

So, what could turn out a part of this deal?

Sources familiar with the negotiations said progress had been made and the two sides had returned to discussing what sorts of enforcement triggers could be used as part of a “grand bargain.”

Specifically, a source familiar with the negotiations confirmed to Roll Call that both sides are demanding triggers that would extract painful concessions from each party if a tax reform package is not adopted.

Obama’s proposed trigger would end the Bush tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year, while Boehner’s trigger would repeal the individual mandate in the health care reform overhaul.

While both sides attempt to extract "painful concessions," if Republicans simply refused to raise the debt ceiling (as the unanimously voted against last Congress) there would be no need for such posturing.


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