At a White House lunch meeting with Congressional leaders of both parties and President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid conveyed his disillusion that the GOP plans to renew last summer's debt limit brinksmanship this coming winter -- but made it clear the strategy won't prevent Democrats from pushing to let Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans expire. An aide provided the following readout.
“Senator Reid made clear his view that absent a balanced agreement that pairs smart spending cuts with revenue measures asking millionaires to pay their fair share, the debt will be dealt with through the sequester, which will cut another $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending in a fair manner – half from military spending and half from domestic spending.
“Since no debt ceiling increase will likely be necessary until after the end of the year, Senator Reid conveyed his view that any discussion of the debt ceiling is premature until after the sequester takes effect or is replaced with a balanced agreement, and after Congress deals with the expiring Bush tax cuts.
“Senator Reid thought it was unfortunate to see Republican leaders engaging in the same kind of brinksmanship that led to a slump in economic confidence and a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating last year. Republican leaders’ pronouncements left him with the distinct impression that they remained more interested in drawing lines in the sand and appeasing the Tea Party than working with Democrats in a calm and rational manner.”