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Will the Senate Reach a Debt Agreement?

8:22 AM, Jul 1, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Yesterday, Harry Reid cancelled a planned Senate recess for the week of July 4, which Republican senators such as Jeff Sessions and Marco Rubio had been pushing, since the government is rapidly approaching the debt ceiling deadline of August 2. But will the Senate actually make any movement toward an agreement? Sessions, in a floor speech yesterday, did not seem convinced:

I’m not at all sure that the plan is to deal with anything involving the greatest threat to our nation, which is our debt. Apparently they want to talk about other issues. That wasn’t what drove the concern. It wasn’t about a patent bill, much as I would like to see it pass. That wasn’t what we were concerned about when we said we need to be in [session] next week.

It’s about the fact that by the end of this month, maybe the first of August, we’ll see a monumental bill of some kind, produced by the Democratic majority here in the Senate, brought out here, and we’re going to be asked to vote for it in a matter of hours, being told every minute that the country is about to sink into oblivion if we don’t just sign it and vote for it, not knowing fully what’s in it, not fully having studied it.

Sessions could have a point. On Fox News, Fred Barnes called the suspended recess "purely cosmetic" and pointed out that Democrats, including the president, have not been overly eager to have open debate and discussion on matters of debt and budgets:

Sessions and other Republicans have also hounded the Democratic Senate for not passing a budget in nearly 800 days, although Kent Conrad, the Budget Committee chairman, announced on Wednesday that the caucus has reached an agreement--behind closed doors--on a proposal. Conrad said he could introduce the budget proposal next week, a claim the North Dakota Democrat has made and broken before.

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