WASHINGTON — Congress will take up early this week a debt limit increase and deficit reduction plan hatched by President Obama and congressional leaders Sunday to end a stalemate that has consumed Washington all summer.
Update, 10:55 a.m.: Amy Klobuchar just came out in support of the plan, saying in a statement, “While it is certainly not a perfect plan, the time has come to break through the partisan stalemate and pass a solution that provides certainty so we can move our country forward.”
Update, 2:20 p.m.: Republican John Kline is a yes vote on the debt limit agreement.
“This product is frankly much better than I was afraid it would be,” he said in an interview. “There is not a single person in either party who says this is perfect. In balance, I’m going to be supporting it.”
Kline did say he was nervous about potential cuts to defense spending, a category of spending that could be cut if a joint committee of lawmakers does not find $1.5 trillion in new savings by the fall.
That’s a concern shared by Chip Cravaack, who said has not decided how he will vote yet.
“I have really big concerns about potential cuts to our military,” he said after greeting constituents in Statuary Hall. “We’re engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan and now the president has us engaged in Libya. This is not the time to pull the rug out from under our troops.”
Cravaack also said he was concerned about potential cuts to Medicare, another potential target for less spending should the joint committee not find the needed cuts.
Meanwhile, Democrat Keith Ellison tells Minnesota Public Radio he is “disinclined” to vote for the debt deal. Democrat Tim Walz says he has not yet decided how he will vote.
Update, 3:55 p.m.: Keith Ellison, speaking with the Congressional Progressive Caucus, confirms he is voting no on the debt deal.
Sen. Al Franken, meanwhile, said he will vote for it.
“Defaulting would have grave economic consequences for my Minnesota constituents,” he said in a statement. “The deal does protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. And it will erase some of the uncertainty confronting businesses and the markets.”