Harry Reid Moves Senate Debt Ceiling Bill Forward

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid just can’t wait any longer. In a frustrated speech on the Senate floor Friday morning, Reid promised to file cloture on his compromise bill to raise the debt ceiling today, before the House GOP (maybe) finishes cobbling together support for Speaker Boehner’s plan.

“This is likely our last chance to save this nation from default,” Reid said.Reid said he had asked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to sit down with him and work out a process that can get the bill passed the Senate before the nation defaults Tuesday morning.

On the floor, Reid called out House Republicans for last night’s failure to pass Boehner’s plan, which is doomed in the Senate anyway. Boehner’s bill (which has been hastily rewritten for the second time and is being presented to the GOP caucus this morning) doesn’t extend the debt ceiling long enough to attract Democratic votes. And it doesn’t make deep enough cuts to attract tea party votes.

Reid, in what has become a common refrain, said once again that it’s time for compromise. He pointed to the last crisis — the government shutdown — as an example of how things can still be worked out at this late date.

“As with the battle to pass a Continuing Resolution and keep our government open for business a few months ago, the Republican leadership was unable to get the votes with only Republicans,” Reid said, referring to the debt ceiling bill. “Speaker Boehner had to look to Democrats.”

“That’s how it’s supposed to work,” he added. “Democrats and Republicans working together.”