Six Republicans join Democrats
The Senate on Friday evening rejected House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) plan to raise the debt limit, upping the ante in the game of chicken between House and Senate.
The 59 to 41 vote, on a motion to table the resolution passed by the House less than two-hours before, ran mostly along party lines easily reaching the the simple majority required to sink legislation in the upper chamber.
Six Republicans joined Democrats to table the Boehner resolution were Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), and David Vitter (La.).
The onus is now on Senate Democrats to put together a bipartisan bill to increase the debt limit that can win 60 votes in the upper chamber.
Senate Democrats strategy is to send such a compromise vehicle back to the House on Tuesday, which would put intense pressure on House GOP leaders to accept it or risk a national default after Aug. 2.
If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) can persuade at least seven Republicans to join the Democratic caucus in passing debt-limit legislation, it would give him the upper hand in the standoff with Boehner.