POLITICS

Senate Dems Go Old Testament: An eye for an eye

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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Buzz Cut:
• Senate Dems go Old Testament: An eye for an eye
• No nukes, yet
• Can’t shut down 2016
• The ObamaCare attack that wasn’t
• It was 1492, but the ocean was really kind of a greenish color

SENATE DEMS GO OLD TESTAMENT: AN EYE FOR AN EYE - Senate Democrats are hunting for six Republicans votes to help Majority Leader Harry Reid jam the GOP-controlled House. With debt-limit doom just three days away, Senate Democrats are still finding time to pay back the House for making the focus of the current fiscal fights all about ObamaCare. Rather than rush to a deal, the evident effort in the Senate is to make House Republicans gag on an increase in federal spending with zero concessions on President Obama’s health law. Democrats over the weekend dissed a plan from Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to allow current spending levels to stay in place until March, while raising the debt-limit through January. Collins’ plan would also have delayed for two years a new ObamaCare tax on medical devices and beefed up anti-fraud measures in the law. But Senate Democrats are not looking for a quick solution. They are looking to run out the clock and to punish Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other conservatives for pushing a doomed bid to defund the law.

[Backroom bargaining:  With all ears tuned-in for hints of behind-closed-doors deal on the budget/debt limit impasse, the Senate is slated to convene at 2 p.m. ET]

Equally impossible - Republicans started the messy debate over government funding and borrowing with an impossible ask: ripping out funding for a cherished new Democratic entitlement program. Now, Senate Democrats will return the favor and are demanding the undoing of current spending levels set in the 2011 debt-limit debacle. Those rates, known as “sequestration” are considered sacrosanct to Republicans of all stripes. But now, thanks to the “defund” gambit, Republicans are scrambling to hold ground that most had taken for granted when the back-and-forth began.

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