How Debt Deal Can Pass Through Congress: Only 11 Senate Republicans Opposed

Aug 1, 2011 9:22am

ABC's Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) reports:

I am told only 11 Senate republicans are poised to vote no on the debt deal.  That should set up passage in the senate with 70-plus votes, depending on how many Democrats vote no.

In the House, obviously, it is tougher sledding. Tea Party Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., sounded positive last night, but 38 other House Republicans signed a pledge promising not to vote for any debt ceiling increase unless Congress first passes a balanced budget amendment.  And there will be many other Republican no votes.  In fact, Republican no votes are likely in the 80 to 100 range, which means you could mean need 76 Democrats to vote for a bill one of them, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, called a "Satan Sandwich."

This will be difficult and it is uncharted territory — when was the last time we had a big bi-partisan vote on a controversial and consequential bill? 

Answer: the vote nearly three years (and two Congresses) ago on the Wall Street bailout (TARP).

No word on vote timing yet. The Senate could vote as early as this afternoon. The House will vote as soon as the leaders think they have enough votes to pass it, whenever that is …

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