Shutdown showdown: If there's a deal, what next?

Photo from CNN
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 7:00am

We all know the School House Rock song about how a bill becomes a law. If Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, can come up with a deal Tuesday to end this governmental gridlock, a number of things will have to happen in fast forward to beat the Thursday deadline to lift the debt ceiling.

1. The Senate has to pass a bill -- quickly

Conservatives might oppose it -- and another filibuster-type stall tactic could drag the process on for days. 60 ayes are needed to end floor debate.

2. The House has to pass the same bill

No matter what the Senate agrees to, the House has agree for this to get to the finish line. It's not at all clear that conservatives in the House will sign onto a proposal they dislike. Some still want to pass a bill with changes to Obamacare. The key Republican issue remains - as it has for months. Will Boehner allow a vote on a proposal that a majority of his caucus opposes?

A ping pong of amendments, like the kind that predicated the shutdown, also has the potential to push this legislation past the debt ceiling deadline.

3. The president has to sign it

If both chambers sign off, there's still that other question: Will Obama accept the concessions made by both sides? Yeah, they didn't teach you this verse in the "'I'm just a bill" song.

But before it gets to that, Tuesday will bring:

Meetings of the players:

As if there have not been enough meetings or rumors of meetings or postponed meetings, Tuesday will start off with you guessed it: more meetings. House parties will meet first, followed by lunch meetings by Senate parties. A good clue on early progress will come first from House Republicans. They should be the first to get in front of cameras.

Obama on the telly:

The President is expected to pop up on several local TV stations Tuesday, no doubt with markets in key Congressional districts. Also, there's a midday White House press briefing that may give hints on how Obama feels about developments. If both parties get close to a deal, expect the White House to give definitive word on whether or not the President would sign off on it.

Markets on the watch:

Whatever happens Tuesday, expect the markets to react. Economist say the closer we get to the debt ceiling deadline, the more this uncertainty can aeffect the markets. Early reports indicate that the Asian markets are responding positively to the news of progress. But domestic banks are reportedly coming up with contingency plans in case Congress goes past the deadline. Any news Tuesday is bound to change things.

-- CNN's Steve Almasy contributed to this report.


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