UPDATED: Guess Who’s In The Thick Of The Debt Limit Negotiations?

UPDATE: There’s an agreement now, and the vote is coming sometime today. It will pass in the House. Landry, the South Carolina delegation and freshman Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) were the prime movers between the leadership and the Tea Party.

They’ve put the Balanced Budget Amendment into the Boehner bill, and it goes into the second tranche of action. Meaning the bill gives a trillion dollars of debt limit increase to go with about that much in spending cuts, including $22 billion in immediate cuts, and then there’s a BBA sent to the states in return for another debt limit increase that gets us past the 2012 election.

From a statement out of Landry’s office this morning…

After a closed door meeting in Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s office where Congressman Jeff Landry (R, LA-03) and a coalition of conservative patriots pressured House leadership to add the passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Budget Control Act of 2011, Landry issued the following statement:

“By standing firm, we were able to get a bill that actually cuts federal spending now, caps future spending, and ensures a Balanced Budget Amendment passes Congress before the second increase is enacted. The American people have strongly renewed their November calls of bringing fiscal sanity to Washington. I am blessed to be a vehicle driving their wishes to fruition. A balanced budget amendment will finally force Congress to live within its means just like families across the country do. This plan is not a Washington deal, but a real solution to fundamentally change the way Washington operates.”

Does this have a chance in the Senate? Probably not. But after a morning in which both Harry Reid and Barack Obama have said there really isn’t all that much difference between what Reid has put out there and what Boehner is trying to pass in terms of what the budget cuts are – which is stupid for those guys to say at the same time they’re screaming that Boehner’s bill is dead on arrival in the Senate – it gets even worse if this passes the House and goes to the Senate.

In other words, if Reid kills this latest Boehner plan because of the BBA the takeaway will be that the Democrats won’t even discuss the concept of a balanced budget. That they’re opposed to the very idea of it.

And meanwhile they will have put out zero plan to resolve the debt limit, while Aug. 2 looms ever closer.

ORIGINAL: At this point our readers might already be up to date with what’s going on at the House of Representatives as Speaker John Boehner attempts to get his latest debt limit bill to the Senate. The Daily Caller’s Amanda Carey had a pretty good update for those who aren’t…

First scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, a vote on House Speaker John Boehner’s Budget Control Act was delayed long into the night. At the point it was canceled, a Hill source told The Daily Caller that Boehner was two votes short of securing passage.

Shortly after 10:30, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy informed reporters the vote was being delayed until Friday. At 11 p.m., an amended version of the bill went back to the Rules Committee so it could implement a “Same Day Rule” in order to take up the bill without delay on Friday.

But in the preceding hours, things were tense as Boehner and McCarthy tried desperately to change the whip count in their favor, while House members diligently debated measures on the floor on name changes for post offices.

At one point, most, if not all, of the South Carolina delegation was huddled inside the whip’s office. Reps. Tim Scott, Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy and Mick Mulvaney were definitely inside.

The entire Republican delegation of the Palmetto State had publicly said that it would vote against the Speaker’s bill. When Scott walked out, he said adamantly that he was still “definitely a no.”

Mulvaney and Duncan left the Whip’s office and headed straight for the nearby chapel, where they actually bowed and prayed for the leadership.

What’s not been reported, though, is that one of the go-betweens who was with the leadership practically all night and one of the main drivers of what looks like the effort to drag the bill over the finish line is Rep. Jeff Landry of Louisiana.

We’re told that Landry got the leadership to agree to what will likely be put forth for a vote this morning – namely, that in this second step Boehner is talking about there will have to be a successful vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment. In other words, Boehner can get the president a trillion-dollar increase in the debt limit, but to get any more than that Congress will have to take its measure on an issue some three-quarters of the public favor.

The word is that the Republican Senate holdouts against Boehner’s deal will come over to it if that Balanced Budget Amendment vote element is added.

But we’ll know before noon how all this will shake out.



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