So the US Congressional leadership has agreed to a budget deal – the first real one since the President took office, as it happens – to temporarily stave off a default and financial ugliness. The agreement will raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion, and create and a cut of $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. Most media seem to be qualifying it as an “immediate” cut, but that seems rather silly as the actual cuts won’t happen immediately, and will be spread out rather thinly over time. And it’s pretty much a wash, so nothing is really fixed. However, the key factor is here that the agreement also requires the forming of a committee within the year to come up $1.5 trillion more spending cuts. Now that means something.
And no tax increases. We’ll have to wait and see how the vote goes on Monday, of course, but it’s hard to believe that Boehner would agree to this if the party whips hadn’t come up with the votes to pass it.
Sounds pretty much like the Boehner plan, which Mark Mardell described as having basically vetoed itself by not raising the debt ceiling even more, or raising taxes. On Friday, the BBC North America editor informed you of the White House talking point that it was wrong.
President Barack Obama says there is a way out of the mess, and he is clear it is not House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal.
He says the Republican’s plan has no chance of becoming law. It’s odds on the president won’t have to veto it, as the Tea Party seems to have done the job for him. He’s again urging people to tweet, ring, email their members of Congress and push them to reach a deal.
Has the BBC reported that Twitter fail yet? Today, he wrote this:
The sort of deal we seem to be looking at is, objectively a victory of the Republicans.
The Democrats take a lot of pain and can only hope to avoid the worst political damage. But the Tea Party members don’t get everything they want by any means and are quite capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Mr Boehner’s people told me months ago that they knew there would always be a handful who would never support any deal. But that handful or rebels turned out to be a bucketful, sloshing with Tea Party enthusiasm. We will soon see the limits to their purity and the extent of their pragmatism.
So Mardell believes the vote could fail due to the “purity” concerns of the Tea Party movement. The negative connotations of that word really reveal his ideological bias.
Let’s how the vote turns out, and how the BBC covers it. Let this be the thread for discussion of the BBC’s coverage of the result.