Senate Kills Cut, Cap and Balance Bill

By Susan Jones | July 22, 2011 | 11:07am EDT

U.S. Capitol (AP Photo)

( - The Senate voted 51-46 Friday morning to "table" a House bill that would cut and cap federal spending and require a balanced budget amendment.

The bill advanced by House Republicans was expected to fail in the Democrat-led Senate, which – so far – has not  produced any deficit-cutting legislation of its own.

For Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, it's a case of good riddance:
"We just completed a very important vote. We have now demonstrated that the House Republicans' Cut, Cap and Balance is over, done -- it's dead.

Reid said it's time for the "process to move forward," as lawmakers look for a way to "avoid insolvency."

Reid said he's been working with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on a "fallback plan" that would give President Obama the authority to raise the debt limit on his own.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Friday criticized Democrats for failing to advance a solution of their own:

"The Democrat-led Senate’s failure to both produce a budget and pass the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011 underscores the Democrats’ irresponsible commitment to the status quo,” Cornyn said. “While the President and Senator Reid refuse to produce a plan to deal with our debt crisis, Republicans will keep working to meet the nation’s fiscal challenges.” 

House Speaker John Boehner accused Senate Democrats defying the will of the American people -- "who overwhelmingly support real spending cuts, caps on future spending, and a balanced budget to create a better environment for private-sector job growth."

Boehner repeated that Republicans will not pass a bill unless it cuts spending by more than it increases the debt limit and restrains future spending. Tax hikes on families and job creators are out of the question, he added.

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