Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the Senate floor Saturday that the reason that the spectrum auction language was removed from his new version of a debt ceiling bill was because it raised revenue--he estimated it at some $15 billion--and so would have had to originate in the House (Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution requires all bills raising revenue to originate in the House).
But he also suggested it was to make it more amenable to Republicans. Reid added that the auctions should happen and will happen.
Reid's bill raises the debt ceiling rather than revenue, and makes $2.4 trillion in cuts, an effort to appease Republicans who do not want the bill to include any new taxes.
Reid, quoting from the New York Times, said that Republicans were holding the American people hostage to get concessions they would never get through regular legislation.
The Reid bill didn't look like it was going anywhere, with our without spectrum auctions. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnnell (R-Ky.) said that neither the Senate nor House Republicans will vote Reid's bill. McConnell called the legislation reckless and countered that they ought to vote on it immediately and after it was defeated get down to work on a compromise bill.
McConnell said the Democrats want to run out the clock on the Aug. 2 deadline so that people would focus on the deadline rather than Democrats' failure to address the underyling problem.