In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Now What?! House Passes DOA 'Cut, Cap, Balance' Bill -- Now About That Debt Limit...

Newscom / Jeff Malet

The good news is that the legislation will now die a quiet death in the Senate. The better news is that, when the ballet is finally over, the House and Senate will finally figure out how exactly they'll raise the statutory debt limit.

The bad news is that time is running out. August 2 is the drop dead date before the country defaults on its debt, and still neither of the viable options on the table -- the grand bargain, the backup plan, or anything in between -- can pass in the House, where the agenda is currently driven by hot-tempered conservatives.

But the idea behind Tuesday's vote is to placate those conservatives, and give Republicans who know the debt ceiling must be raised cover to vote for a compromise in the days ahead. If it succeeds at that, then maybe the price of posturing will have been worth it.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at