Key Senate Democrats lauded the decision by Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, not to attach any extraneous provisions to a must-pass increase in the debt ceiling.
"The House has come to the realization that following the hard right on the debt ceiling made no sense, which is good for the House, good for the Republican Party and good for America," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the Senate. "We hope soon enough they’ll come to the same realization on immigration.” Schumer appeared to take this development on the debt ceiling as a good sign for House action on an immigration overhaul. Boehner said recently that he doubts immigration can be passed this year, but the New York Democrat thinks the door remains open for action.
Schumer was one of the bipartisan "gang of eight" senators who drafted and helped pass an comprehensive immigration overhaul through the Senate last summer and he has been urging the House to pass a measure that can be reconciled with the Senate bill.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairwoman of the Budget Committee, also praised the decision not to prolong the debate over the debt ceiling. "House Republicans seem to have finally realized that Democrats aren’t going to pay a ransom to allow the federal government to pay its bills," Murray said. "I look forward to them sending over a debt limit bill with no ransom demands attached, and I am hopeful that we can truly step away from the constant crises and debt limit brinkmanship to build on the bipartisan progress we made in our budget deal."
Their comments came after Boehner announced that he did not have the votes to pass a boost in the nation's borrowing authority with just Republican votes, despite efforts to entice his conference with talk of including a provision that would have restored cuts to the cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military pensions that was included in the budget agreement passed in December.