Even before the Republican leadership's "Cut, Cap, and Balance" bill reached the House floor, it was very clear that the bill had no chance in the Senate and would face a veto from The White House.
However, the bill did allow the Republican faithful to debate and vote on their dream bill, and shows where exactly each member of Congress stands. And if a compromise debt ceiling/deficit reduction package arrives in the House and forces some Republican members to take a difficult vote, Republican members can always point to their efforts on the Cut, Cap, and Balance bill and say that the Democratic votes simply weren't there.
With Speaker Boehner's walkout from negotiations with The White House today, it has become clear that any collaborative effort in Congress - with or without the President - will require the support of wavering Democrats who feel that The White House has given too much while getting nothing in return. Like their Republican colleagues, Democrats have legitimate fears that they will alienate important constituencies and have to vote for something that seems far from ideal.
So House Democrats should design their ideal bill - like the House Republicans designed "Cut, Cap, and Balance" - and Speaker Boehner should allow it to reach the floor. The bill would be defeated, but perhaps it would allow House Democrats to ease their position and cover themselves for the difficult - but necessary - business of compromise.
Speaker Boehner has stated that President Obama's insistence on fair revenue raisers caused him to walk out. Boehner further stated that he would work with the leaders of the Senate to find something that can pass the House. We hope that when both parties get the chance to blow off steam, cooler heads will prevail.
Analysis: Can The Gang of Six Get A Final Debt Ceiling Deal?
Details of the Gang of Six Plan