Despite the setback Boehner suffered, that ultimate deal is likely to resemble his proposal in several key ways. Boehner's bill and a competing measure proposed by Reid have broad similarities, "so you can see the zone of compromise here," David Plouffe, a senior advisor to President Obama, said hours before the House called off its vote.
Both bills claim to reduce spending over the next decade by somewhat more than $2 trillion, an amount considerably smaller than the "grand bargain" Obama and Boehner had tried to reach.
Both would make the reductions in two stages. The first stage would impose about $900 billion in spending cuts over the next decade by capping future budgets for federal agencies. The second stage would involve a special congressional committee that would be directed to propose a package of spending cuts and, possibly, tax increases that would reduce the deficit by about another $1.5 trillion.
The most contentious difference between the two is that Boehner's plan would raise the debt limit in two stages. It would require that Congress pass the second round of deficit cuts before allowing the second increase in the debt ceiling, meaning the nation would see a repeat of this summer's debate around Christmas and into the new year.