A Vote-Count Analysis of a Debt Ceiling Bill

Liberal Democrats Have Leverage on Debt Deal

By NATE SILVER

Nancy Pelosi hasn’t had very many opportunities to influence policy in the 112th Congress. Republicans have too large a majority, and vote too uniformly on most issues, for Democratic votes in the House to make much difference. Instead, the Democrats’ veto points are in the Senate and in the White House.

But the vote to raise the federal debt limit, which now seems tied inexorably to efforts to reduce the national debt, is one exception. We’ve run through these numbers before, but they’re worth revisiting now that we may be getting closer to a deal.

A vote on a deal is a potential triple whammy for members of Congress. Raising the debt limit, in and of itself, is unpopular. So is cutting or amending popular entitlement programs. The cherry on top are potential tax increases — although since some of the revenue raisers on the table poll reasonably well, that is likely to be more of a problem for Republicans than Democrats.

Read more here.

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