Let’s review the bidding.
In the Senate on Saturday, Democrats couldn’t generate the 60 votes necessary to bring Majority Leader Harry Reid’s proposal to the floor. That would have extended the debt ceiling through 2014. It failed on a party line vote.
For a while, it looked like a bipartisan proposal by Sen. Susan Collins, the moderate Republican from Maine, might be going somewhere. That included a six-month stopgap funding bill through March and a debt ceiling increase through January.
Regarding the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), the Collins proposal also would delay for two years a tax on medical devices, and it included stronger income verification for those deemed eligible for insurance subsidies under the new law.
Democrats saw that as merely delaying the debt ceiling fight for three months, and they rejected it. But the Collins proposal – at least its major elements – remained a point of discussion as Reid, McConnell, and their top lieutenants reconvened Sunday.