ABC News has learned that Republicans and the White House have struck a tenative[sic] deal to raise the debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline. It's not done yet, but here is the framework of the tentative deal they have worked out, according to a source familiar with the negotiations:Did you find it? Because it's certainly not a number, and it's certainly not reported above. The key to whether this deal is going to be a great deal or a terrible deal rests on one big factor.
- Debt ceiling increase of up to $2.8 trillion
- Spending cuts of roughly $1 trillion
- Special committee to recommend cuts of $1.8 trillion (or whatever it takes to add up to the total of the debt ceiling increase) Committee must make recommendations before Thanksgiving recess
- If Congress does not approve those cuts by late December, automatic across-the-board cuts go into effect, including cuts to Defense and Medicare.
How is the "special committee" going to be constituted?
This deal actually looks pretty good if you make a lot of unlikely assumptions about intentions and personnel of the "Special Committee." The primary assumption is that Speaker Boehner and Mitch McConnell want a deal. An equally important, but secondary assumption is that McConnell and Boehner leadership teams command enough support to invoke cloture in the Senate and pass a bill that enjoys significant Democratic support. If all Democrats voted for the bill (an unlikely assumption), Only 24 Republicans would be needed to pass it. And of course, the most egregious assumption: Democrats are in this fight to protect the middle class and poor, find some ways to spur job growth, and invest in America. If they're in this just to get the debt ceiling lifted and avoid a catastrophe, they're walking into a used car dealership having decided that they have to buy a car today.