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Timing Is Everything: Reid Forces a Vote Early on Cut, Cap & Balance

US Senate(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced on the Senate floor that he will force a “motion to table” --  i.e. a motion to kill -- the Cut, Cap and Balance Act on Friday, after a cloture vote had been set for Saturday.

“I think this piece of legislation is about as weak and senseless as anything that has ever come on this Senate floor,” Reid said on the Senate floor Thursday evening. “I am not going to waste the Senate's time day after day on this piece of legislation.”

The motion only needs 51 votes for it to be approved. If the motion is approved, Cut, Cap & Balance would be tabled.  This move is important in the overall schedule as leaders scramble to not only broker a final deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling but also procedurally get a deal before the Aug. 2 deadline for action.

Democrats have railed against the act, which passed in the House on Tuesday, all week, saying that it is a waste of time for something that has no chance of passing in the Democrat-controlled Senate and that the president has said he will veto. So Reid has pushed the vote one day early.

“I feel confident that this legislation will be disposed of one way or the other,” Reid said.

Knowing that Senate Republicans have fought this week just for the opportunity to debate this act, Reid said that they can “debate it to their heart's content” Thursday night and into Friday for a period of time. But that’s it -- there will be a vote at some point Friday.

Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, likened the argument that an act that could fail doesn’t deserve debate to questioning holding the Super Bowl “when you’ve got one team that’s expected to beat the other one.”

“But it's even worse, because what happens is that when we vote, we're held accountable.  If we don't vote, we can't be held accountable,” said Lee.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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