Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) plot to filibuster his own bill is pretty much doomed.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opposes the effort, as does Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX). That means the junior senator got a lot of attention, but he likely doesn’t have the 41 votes he needs to stop the bill that funds the government without defunding Obamacare from heading back to the House.
If everything goes correctly, and the House doesn’t make any changes to the bill, the president should have a bill to sign by Monday that keeps the government funded, averting a shutdown.
And that’s when the real trouble could begin.
Congress still needs to raise the debt limit before the Department of Treasury runs out of money to pay its own bills sometime in the middle of October. House Republicans are preparing a list of things they want in exchange for authorizing the payment of debts they’ve already approved:
The package that House GOP leaders plan to unveil when their members return to Washington late Wednesday will be anchored by proposals to simultaneously raise the federal borrowing limit and delay for a year further implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, the legislation would likely include a collection of previously introduced bills popular among House Republicans and difficult for Obama to dominate, including construction of the job-rich Keystone XL pipeline.
The debt-ceiling package, set for a House vote by week’s end, could include a variety of GOP-friendly economic proposals, including tax reform, Medicare means testing, medical liability reform, an overhaul of the federal employee retirement system, elimination of the Dodd-Frank bailout, the easing of Environmental Protection Agency rules, restrictions on federal regulators and an expansion of offshore energy production.
And President Obama has already explained what he’s willing to give: Nothing.
The president negotiated with House Republicans in 2011 over the debt limit and feels that he sparked a dangerous precedent.
“We’re not going to set up a situation where the full faith and credit of the United States is put on the table every year or every year and a half and we go through some terrifying financial brinksmanship,” Obama said earlier this month. “It would fundamentally change how American government functions.”