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CQ Roll Call: Debt Ceiling Deal Reached On Capitol Hill

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David Hawkings, editor of the CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing, talks about the debt ceiling deal that was finally reached on Capitol Hill.

According to Hawkings, there's a small sense of relief, however, he says the leaders in both parties are trying to tamp down that relief until the deal is officially passed.

"The question is though, just how the dynamics will play out in the House," says Hawkings. "Clearly fewer Republicans are going to vote for this deal than last week, and for every republican vote that gets lost, a democratic vote is going to have to be picked up. Nancy Pelosi is non-committal; she probably won’t tank this deal. But there are factions of liberals – the progressive caucus, the black caucus – that do not like this at all."

Over the past few months, several rounds of negotiations took place, including between Congressional leaders from parties, a gang of six senators, and the White House. But in the end, Hawkings says the two people who reached this deal were Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden.

"Vice President Biden was a senator for 36 years before he became Vice President," Hawkings says. "He knows how to cut legislative deals as well as anybody up there. With the possible exception of Mitch McConnell, who on the republican side always seems to have his slightly invisible hand on every big deal. The two of them put it together. Now to be fair, they were ultimately working from recipe book that had been assembled by lot so of others. And it should be noted that this is sort of a hodgepodge of something pretty close to the so-called Boehner bill that the republicans pushed through this week, with some strong dollop of budget enforcement."

During his Sunday night address to the public, President Obama said that constituents' phone calls, emails and tweets compelled Washington to act. Hawkings believes this is true, however, the message the public is taking from this statement is not what Obama was inferring.

"He was inferring that all that social media effort tilted the deal in his favor," says Hawkings. "I don’t that’s true. I don’t think there’s any way to know. You just can’t measure who was for it and who was against it."

Hawkings says it's unclear when deal will become official, but it's likely that the senate will vote first because that's where the votes are easiest, and then it will go to the House tonight or tomorrow.


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