As promised, all Senate Democrats aligned Friday night to kill the just-passed House Republican bill to raise the debt limit.
The roll call fell closely along party lines, 59-41, with all Democrats voting to table Speaker John Boehner's controversial bill, joined by several Republicans who also oppose that plan.
Now we enter a period of calm. Before midnight, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to introduce his own debt limit bill -- amended to include more spending cuts, and a few as-yet undisclosed carrots, to entice enough Republicans to overcome a filibuster and pass the legislation.
Senate Democratic aides confirm that the legislation is being updated now, but the precise details are tightly held.
They need to get those details right. House Republicans have scheduled a symbolic Saturday vote to knock down the original version of Reid's bill -- a move meant to illustrate that without further cuts and enticements can't Reid's bill pass the House.
Odds are very good that nothing Reid can put forward will be able to pass the House. After that, well, we're deep into the "Here There Be Default" part of the map. Tomorrow the House is expected to kill the un-modified Reid bill, while the actual bill gets sent back to the House if it passes a filibuster in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
After that, the Senate would vote on it first thing Monday, and then to the House it would go. Whether any of this happens, who knows. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi still will not greenlight the 14th Amendment solution.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday declined to endorse a 14th Amendment solution to the debt-ceiling impasse.
All of Pelosi's top lieutenants have urged President Obama to invoke the Constitution and hike the debt limit unilaterally as a last resort if Congress fails to act by the Aug. 2 default deadline.
But Pelosi, thus far, is staying on the sidelines of that debate.
"I hope that we can come to an agreement before then," Pelosi said as she left a Democratic Caucus meeting Friday afternoon. "That's where I'm focusing my attention."
Without Pelosi's blessing I don't see Obama even bothering. Noise from the White House this evening suggests a short extension, 48 hours or so, if it means a real plan. My guess though is no plan remains forthcoming that will pass the GOP.
From here I don't honestly know what will happen.