As we head into the weekend, after the Boehner plan squeaked through the House and got clobbered (59-41) in the Senate...I have no idea what's going to happen. Here are some of the things I don't know that I wish I knew:
1. How many votes will the Reid plan get in the Senate?
2. Assuming that's below 60, what would the Democrats have to offer to entice 7-12 Republicans to vote for the Reid plan? So far there's a lot of talk about who will or won't negotiate, but what exactly does a more Lamar Alexander friendly version of the Reid plan look like?
3. If #2 -- how many, if any, Democrats would Reid lose?
4. What would a McConnell-friendly version of the Reid plan look like? Presumably, that would get some 70 or more votes, but what would it look like?
5. Suppose a bill passes the Senate with somewhere from 60 to 65 votes. Would John Boehner be willing to allow a vote?
6. If so, does it get a majority in the House? Presumably, that would take all or almost all of the Democrats, plus a small minority of Republicans.
7. Boehner would certainly bring up a bill that Reid and McConnell supported and that had received 70+ votes in the Senate. Would it pass the House?
8. If Reid brings a clean one-week debt limit increase to the Senate floor early in the week, would it get 60 votes? Does every Democrat stick for that?
9. If a clean one-week extension passes the Senate, would Boehner allow a vote? Would it pass the House?
10. Suppose none of this happens. What choices would the administration make about how to proceed over the first several days of the post-deadline period? By the way, see Annie Lowrey for a good primer on how it might look.
11. Or would the president blow through the limit?
12. If so, which option would he use: the 14th amendment, the coin, selling options to the Fed, or something else? Or would he just claim some sort of emergency powers inherent in the presidency?
13. Should that happen, would it "work" as far as the economy is concerned?
14. And would the House impeach him?
15. By the way, it's not really related to any of these exactly, but does anyone know just how much of the spending cuts from Reid's bill come out of the Pentagon? Philip Klein did some reporting on this and believes that it's a fairly big number ("hundreds of billions") which is a pretty big chunk of the bill if true -- but I'm not convinced that it is. Anyone?