I’m wondering, are they actually writing any potential legislation in these negotiations for a “Grand Bargain”? Let’s say they come to an agreement this time next week. That gives Congress two weeks to write the bill and pass it. And unless the House and Senate pass identical bills, the final bill will have to be rewritten and passed again.
Are there any examples of a bill this large and this complex — dealing with entitlements, tax reform, new taxes, budget cuts, raising the debt ceiling, etc. — being written and passed in a mere two weeks? God forbid some Tea Party Senator threatens to (or actually does) filibuster somewhere along the process. If that happens and reconciliation is necessary (if it’s even possible), then any Social Security changes would have to be thrown out. How many Republicans would balk if Social Security was no longer on the table?
I’m having a difficult time understanding what happens after a deal is reached. It would be simple to pass a clean bill raising the debt ceiling and then go on to the other issues. But no rational Republican would open themselves up to the possibility of raising the debt ceiling without getting in spending cuts and entitlement reforms. If recent history proves anything, I’m wondering if the next crisis we have on our hands is Congress’ inability to work as a well-oiled machine even after all the parts are assembled.