After the House's passage of the debt-ceiling "compromise" that will raise the debt ceiling through 2013 and cut more than $2.1 trillion in government spending without raising taxes or closing corporate loopholes, the Senate passed the bill today 74-26. The bill is expected to be signed by the president "immediately." Among the lawmakers who voted against the legislation was New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who said in a statement, "This deal…is an unbalanced approach that cuts deeply into discretionary spending while being overwhelmingly stacked in favor of large corporations. It is simply not in the best interests of the middle class." Middle class? What middle class?
Congressman Jerry Nadler agrees, and through a statement, explained his "No" vote last night by calling the legislation a "callous plan that will strangle the middle class and working poor, to say nothing of the elderly and kids." He also carried the "terrorist" metaphor laid out by Vice President Biden and the liberal members of the caucus, by saying, "Republicans are holding us all hostage."
But as a Politico profile of the deal illustrates, Biden shouldn't be calling anyone a terrorist: he was a major architect of the "compromise." Early on in the negotiations, Biden presented Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell with a plan that included zero tax increases, effectively bargaining away most of the concessions Democrats could have received from Republicans. The one point on which Biden didn't budge? Assuring Republicans that Defense would be cut the least. "We just can't give there." Thanks, Joe. At least that exorbitant website about saving endangered turtles made the chopping block.