Senator Herb Kohl said Friday that he’s hopeful a default by the federal government can still be averted. The Wisconsin Democrat said a debt ceiling and deficit reduction bill from House Speaker John Boehner has no Democratic support in that chamber. “Because it has no support from the other side of the aisle in the House, and it’s very partisan, it will come over here and get rejected,” said Kohl. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is working on a Senate bill. “It has been authored by Senator Reid, but I am hopeful that will be a Reid-McConnell bill,” he said, referring to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“There is no politician in Washington that will benefit, well, that will really benefit from a default,” said Kohl. “Some people, perhaps, and I don’t want to define who they are, might think that they would benefit, nobody would benefit. Certainly not Senator McConnell. He has said many times on the record that default is not an option.”
Kohl said the bill which Reid will propose could pass the Senate with GOP support and then go to the House. “What we would send over is a bipartisan bill that would attract all but the most conservative Republicans, and all but the most intransigent Democrats,” said Kohl. There are 53 Democrats in the Senate. “If Senator McConnell is part of the Reid bill, then we will get 60 votes and we can send that back over the to House. I think it’s doable because there is a recognition that the alternative, which is default, is unacceptable.”
Kohl said every Senate Democrat and “most Republicans” realize a compromise must be reached. “The time for recrimination and polarization and partisanship and finger pointing is over. The deadline (Tuesday) is just 72 hours away. I believe that we are going to get this done.”