Video: House OKs debt bill; Senate vote looms
Transcript of: House OKs debt bill; Senate vote looms
MATT LAUER, co-host: Now more on the reason for Gabby Giffords ' return to Capitol Hill , that key vote on the debt deal. NBC 's Capitol Hill correspondent Kelly O'Donnell has the latest on that. Kelly , one down, one to go. It's passed the House . How does it look in the Senate ?
KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: Well, actually it does look pretty good in the Senate , and that come off of all the energy that we saw in the House for Speaker John Boehner . He was able to get this bill across the line with a comfortable 50-plus vote margin. And, Matt , after all the drama in the lead-up to this, where there was so much concern about would tea party conservatives fall in line and that kind of thing, it was actually Democrats , liberal Democrats , who voted no in greater numbers. The reason behind that, many of them were upset that the president had signed on to a deal that included cuts that total about $2 1/2 trillion but no new taxes. They're worried that there'll be just too much burden on those who need social programs. So there was really a lot of push-back from Democrats . The vice president was here and he got an earful in a private meeting with House Democrats. Part of the energy there was directed right at him from members who said that they believe the tea party had acted like terrorists and hostage takers. Biden was caught up in that conversation. Later his office said that he did not believe using a term like terrorist was appropriate in political discourse. So that gives you a sense of kind of how the earth was moving there with a lot of anger directed at the White House and at Democrats like the vice president who helped bring this deal together. Conservatives weren't happy in some cases, too, with defense cuts, and some of them wanted a more sweeping reform that might help reduce the debt in a greater way. But it got through the House and today the Senate is the last big test, Matt. We should expect to see some resistance there, too, but certainly leaders in the Senate feel a lot more relieved that the House , which was more unpredictable got this across the line and then it's just left to the president to sign if the Senate follows through today.
LAUER: All right, Kelly O'Donnell on Capitol Hill for us this morning. Kelly , as always, thank you very much .