The pattern continues:
1) "Tea Party" members of Congress (using the term loosely) propose something.
2) Democrats deride the proposal.
3) Republicans come around to where the Tea Party is.
4) Democrats meet halfway.
Sen. Harry Reid was just asked (by Manu Raju of Politico) whether it was possible to get a "clean" debt limit vote through the Senate. He did not say yes.
"I'm not lamenting the fact that the need to raise the spending levels of our country, the debt limit -- I'm not lamenting the fact that we're taking a serious look at the long term spending of this country," he said. "I think it's really important to do that."
Reid punted a little on what the reforms were (everyone in leadership, on both sides, is doing this, as they sort of should at this point) and whether this meant the vote would be attached to spending reforms.
"We don't have to attach anything," said Reid. "There's a debate and this can be separate."