Timing is Everything: Reid Forces a Vote Early On Cut, Cap & Balance

By Eliza

Jul 21, 2011 6:13pm

ap debt showdown harry reid jp 110719 wb Timing is Everything: Reid Forces a Vote Early On Cut, Cap & Balance

ABC News' Sunlen Miller (@sunlenmiller) reports:

Senate Majority Leader Reid announced on the Senate floor that he will be force a “motion to table” – ie: a motion to kill — the Cut, Cap and Balance on Friday, after a cloture vote had been set for Saturday.

“I think this piece of legislation is about as weak and senseless as anything that has ever come on this Senate floor,” Reid said on the Senate floor this evening. “I am not going to waste the Senate's time day after day on this piece of legislation.”

The motion only needs 51 votes for it to be approved. If the motion is approved the Cut, Cap, Balance Act would be tabled.  This move is important in the overall schedule as leaders scramble to not only broker a final deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling but also procedurally get a deal before the August 2nd deadline for action.

Democrats have railed against the Act, which passed in the House on Tuesday, all week – saying that it is a waste of time for something that has no chance of passing in the Democratically controlled Senate, and that the president has said he will veto. So Reid has pushed the vote one day early.

“I feel confident that this legislation will be disposed of one way or the other,” Reid said.

Knowing that Senate Republicans have fought this week just for the opportunity to debate this act, Reid said that they can “debate it to their heart's content” tonight and into tomorrow for a period of time. But that’s it — there will be a vote at some point tomorrow.

Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, likened the argument that an Act what could fail doesn’t deserve debate to questioning holding the Superbowl “when you’ve got one team that’s expected to beat the other one.”

“But it's even worse, because what happens is that when we vote, we're held accountable.  If we don't vote, we can't be held accountable.”

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