The "Moderate" CR Deal in the Senate Dies Quickly, Irritates Everyone

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 12 2013 5:13 PM

The "Moderate" CR Deal in the Senate Dies Quickly, Irritates Everyone

The saga of the "Collins Plan" will live on as one of the most revealingly pointless distractions of the shutdown fight. So: On Friday afternon, Maine Sen. Susan Collins presented the president with a 23-page plan. The basics: a six-month government funding package at sequestration levels, a one-year debt limit increase, a two-year delay of the medical device tax. Because of Collins' rep, this was treated by some outlets as a possible breakthrough. After all, Democrats in the Senate really want a short-term CR and a one-year debt limit increase, a way to start budget negotiations again without preconditions.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

Saturday morning, at yet another meeting, House Republicans were told that the president was trying to break their will by getting the Senate to cut a deal first. "They are trying to jam us with the Senate," said Paul Ryan, who does not always speak after these meetings, "and we are not going to roll over and take that."


A few hours later, Democrats in the Senate, led by Harry Reid, tore into the Collins plan. This was somewhat unexpected—by Collins, anyway. The senator had scheduled a 12:15 press conference to discuss her breakthrough. That was bumped to 12:45, then to 1. Shortly before the appointed time, as reporters waited for her to arrive, an aide rushed to the Senate studio to say that she would only speak after the Democratic leadership held its own press conference, because ideally she'd have a few Democrats joining her.

Nope. Democrats left their conference committed to opposing the Collins plan, which was never going to get a vote anyway.

"We are not overplaying our hand," said Sen. Chuck Schumer after the leaders' press conference. "We are open to discussion in every way. We think our Republican colleagues are moving in our direction. The fact that Obamacare is not a major part of the discussion among all Senate and many House Republicans all shows it's moving in a decent direction. If you get a broad, bipartisan vote in the Senate, it might induce the House to work on something."

Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein could not resist a dollop of snark. "Like on immigration reform?" he asked.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.