Debtpocalypse by the Numbers

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 25 2011 11:59 AM

Debtpocalypse by the Numbers

You're not alone. The debt limit battle is getting more confusing every day. But only a few numbers matter, and I'll try to explain them right here. Contact me or post in the comments if you think there are numbers being left out.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.

$14.3 trillion: The current debt limit.

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$2.4 trillion: The amount that the debt limit must be raised in order to fund the government into 2013; i.e., past the 2012 election.Y

$2.7 trillion: The amount of cuts proposed by Harry Reid in exchange for a $2.4 trillion increase.

217: The number of House votes needed to pass a compromise. (There are currently two vacancies, hence the lower threshold.)

240: The number of Republicans in the House.

193: The number of Democrats in the House.

234: The number of votes in the House for Cut, Cap, and Balance. That's 55 votes shy of what the House would need to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment, which in CCB is a condition for a debt limit hike.

46: The number of votes in the Senate for CCB.

9: The number of House Republicans who voted against Cut, Cap, and Balance, all of whom doing so because it 1) didn't cut enough or 2) they objected to raising the debt limit, full stop.

151: The number of current House Republicans who voted against the last debt limit increase in 2009. (All House Republicans voted against it.)

~90: The number of Republicans who've signed a letter saying they oppose a "Plan B" debt limit increase that would allow Congress to vote, post-facto, on "disapproval" of debt limit hikes put into effect by the president. (This is the McConnell Plan, or McConnell-Reid.)

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.