The House of Representatives is voting right now on the initial, untweaked version of Harry Reid's debt plan. Why is this bad news -- why do we assume that means it's dead on arrival? Because any scenario in which the Reid bill passes is one in which Senate Democrats have time to add more elements that Republicans might like. And right now, 43 Republicans have pledged not to vote for the Reid bill. That's enough to filibuster. This version of the plan is stillborn in both houses. So the debate right now is a stunt that will "prove" that the Reid bill can't pass, which we already knew,
"This agreement offers the calm, reasonable compromise the country wants," said Rep. Rob Andrews, D-NJ, who's one of the members of his party more interested in a compromise.
"The Reid plan doesn't solve the problem," said Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.
"We don't support the Reid plan because of the devastating cuts it makes to our military," said. Rep. John Culberson, R-Tex.
They were just testing out arguments -- the vote was meaningless.
UPDATE: The bill failed on a 246-173 vote, but failure was a fait accompli, because it was broad up under suspension rules (no amendments) that would have required a 289-vote supermajority for passage.
Democratic leaders are now headed to the White House.