Harry Reid plans vote on his debt limit plan in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is seen during a news conference on debt ceiling legislation, on July 27, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin , Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Patty Murray also attended. The United States remained on course Wednesday for a potentially calamitous default, with US leaders still unable to find common ground on a deal that would let Washington borrow the cash it needs to pay its bills. Getty Images/Karen Bleier

As the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives struggles to find a way forward with House Speaker John Boehner's debt limit bill, Senate Democrats have decided they can't wait any longer for the other side of the Capitol to act.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday morning that he will bring his own debt bill to the Senate floor tonight. Previously, Reid and Republican Senate Leader, Mitch McConnell, were giving room to the House to act, knowing that the Boehner bill did not have a chance in the Senate, as all 53 Senate Democrats pledged opposition, as had a few Republican senators.

Reid said his bill, which has about the same number of short term cuts in spending as the Boehner bill does, but takes into account savings from ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and raises the debt ceiling over $2 trillion that would take the country through the end of 2012. The Boehner bill raises the debt limit $900 billion and would require another vote on the debt ceiling early next year.

CBSNews.com special report: America's debt battle

"A vote against this compromise will be a vote to default on the full faith and credit of the United States," said Reid on the Senate floor today. (watch his comments above at left)

He said his bill is "Dollar for dollar, as the speaker said he wants."

He implored Republicans to join him, warning that time was running out. "There's no more time," he said, saying that filing his bill today would probably mean a vote on Tuesday, the day the government would run out of borrowing authority.

"This is a pretty good deal," Reid said. Republicans he said, have "gotten everything they want and they should put those chips in their pockets and walk away and declare victory."

McConnell blamed Democrats for blocking the Boehner bill, "a solution to the crisis," he said and took a shot at President Obama for making an announcement on new automobile fuel economy standards today instead of focusing solely on the debt matter and coming up with a solution of his own.

"The only people who are disregarding the consequence of default are Senate Democrats," said McConnell. "Republicans have been doing the hard part of governing this week, its time the Senate Democrats join us."

Reid went back to the Senate floor to respond to the Republican leader.

"We cannot have in this country a 6-month extension... a six month extension would put us back in a matter of weeks in the same fiscal extravaganza. The country is locked down. Congress is inoperable," he said.

Reid pleaded for cooperation and compromise. "I will work as closely as I can with any suggestions they have."

But he also made it clear that he believes his bill is good for the Republicans. "It has everything Republicans have asked for. No revenues, 2.4 trillion dollars in cuts, that's a pretty good deal."

From CBS Moneywatch.com:

Debt Ceiling Stalemate Raises Risk of Double-Dip Recession
A Doomsday Portfolio
Debt Ceiling Victims: Colleges Could Be Forced to Close
3 Calming Thoughts as we Approach Default

  • Robert Hendin On Twitter»

    Robert Hendin is senior producer for "Face the Nation" and a CBS News senior political producer.

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