What’s in the deal that ends the shutdown tonight

John BoehnerI’m going to sort of synthesize the news I’m catching up on this afternoon. Here are the big points:

1. The House will vote on the Reid-McConnell deal at 11pm, and the Senate will take it up after. Nobody will say it, but we’ll definitely be in default by the time President Obama signs the deal, if you stick to the Obama administration timeline.

2. Ted Cruz has already said he’ll vote for the deal. Not that he matters, there will be more than enough votes in the Senate to push this through without him and he holds no power over anyone at all because he’s a powerless junior Senator. It’s always been that way and the attention he’s been paid by the media has been absurd. Shows how the media is more interested in entertainment than news.

3. There is no threat to John Boehner’s speakership. Mainline conservatives and moderates never stopped supporting him and the hardliners appreciate him following them off a cliff.

Here’s what’s in the deal:

1. Raises the debt limit through February of 2014.

2. Funds the government through January 1st, 2014.

3. Initiates a conference between the Senate and House to work out differences in their respective FY2014 budgets, which if successful will wipe out the shutdown threat that begins in January.

4. Health and Human Services will be required to verify income claims of Obamacare exchange applicants to prevent fraud, essentially making Obamacare better, even though the ACA probably already does this.

5. The GOP’s spending cuts called “sequestration” will remain through January.

6. Almost all furloughed federal employees will get back pay at “their standard rate”.

No repeal of the medical device tax, no delay of Obamacare, no benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare, or anything else the GOP wanted. Republicans got nothing and neither did Democrats, since Democrats weren’t asking for anything to begin with. This is the deal that Senate Democrats have been passing repeatedly since the end of September, with the exception of the income verification provision which is a tiny nothing nugget.

* * *

On related notes, this was in the Huffington Post within the past hour:

Raul Labrador Castigates Media: ‘We Have Never Asked For A Full Repeal Of Obamacare’

Earlier Wednesday, at a monthly meeting of conservative House Republicans and reporters in the Rayburn House Office Building, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) took the media to task for misrepresenting what House Republicans have been trying to do, all this while, to the Affordable Care Act:

LABRADOR: You guys in the media continue to report that what conservatives were asking for was a full repeal of Obamacare — that’s absolutely false.

And this was in The Washington Post today:

“Republicans remain determined to repeal this terrible law,” McConnell said in announcing the agreement alongside Reid. “But for today – for today – the relief we hope for is to reopen the government, avoid default and protect the historic cuts we achieved under the Budget Control Act.

* Republicans are still “unskewing” polls (aka skewing them).

* The Wall Street Journal’s op-ed board are telling the GOP to get over it.

* Jon Cohn has an interesting point in this story. Several, actually. The one that really stuck with me is how circular this mess is. Tea Party’ers essentially did away with pork bribes in the House which ends up being one of the few tools the Speaker has to bring dissidents in line on controversial measures. Moderates (these days regular conservatives who are not even close to being moderates, but look moderate standing next to TP’ers) could fight off hard-right primary challengers by getting pork projects for their districts and showing their constituents that they sometimes have to make hard choices, but still bring home the bacon. Now there’s no bacon and the “moderates” have no cover.

I’ll update this story as more information comes in tonight.

Update I

Added a sixth point to what the “deal” will include, now lists back pay for most furloughed federal employees.

Update II

The provision for a budget conference is out of the current draft due to a technicality that could have allowed the entire deal to be sunk in the Senate. Instead it’ll be a separate agreement.

Update III

The full text of the continuing resolution is here (PDF).

Update IV

Manu Raju of Politico: Sen. Lee on “back-room deal” that lawmakers haven’t read: “This is Washington at its worst.”

And Sam Stein of HuffPost on that: if you draw out negotiations to brink of default, dont complain deal was put together in closed room at last minute

Moderate and mainstream Republicans have a right to complain about that, but not people like Mike Lee, who was on the “burn it to the ground” train with Ted Cruz. And that’s being nice. If the moderates and mainstreamers hadn’t been such cowards for so long, this wouldn’t have happened either. The only people who have a right to complain about a rush job are voters.

Update V

The Senate vote on the DeFuck Everything Act was 81-18. As far as I can tell by last names, all no votes were Republicans. Every no vote was a de facto vote in favor of default and devastating economic collapse. Never forget these names: Coburn, Cornyn, Crapo, Cruz, Enzi, Grassley, Heller, Johnson-WI, Lee, Paul, Risch, Roberts, Rubio, Scott, Sessions, Shelby, Toomey, Vitter.

Update VI

It’s over. Every Democrat in the House voted for the Senate clean CR+debt ceiling increase.

Dems: 198-0
Reps: 87-144

Total: 285-144.

Of those voting, it hit two thirds, 66.4%. President Obama should sign it within an hour and the government should open tomorrow, perhaps with some places coming back to life even this evening, and America will pay its bills tomorrow.

And we do it all again in January.

To correct something from earlier, the Senate ended up passing its bill first, which is why the House ended up voting nearly at 11p. As I’ve had to tell people (I’m sorry but almost exclusively Republicans), no, the House doesn’t have to vote first on spending. Just revenue.

Paul Tenny

Paul Tenny

I'm not a journalist but I do it anyway. I cover elections and have interviewed television writers and producers.
Paul Tenny

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