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Longtime readers are familiar with our time-honored tradition of marking inevitable Senate GOP sellout moments with the head-banging-against-the-wall animated gif.
Well, it is time to resurrect it again to commemorate Mitch McConnell’s latest maneuver that would give President Obama new power to automatically increase the federal debt limit. It’s a convoluted way of abandoning the fight for fiscal sanity altogether and leaving the mess in the Democrats’ enhanced control.
Here’s the AP newsflash: “WASHINGTON (AP) _ GOP Leader McConnell proposes giving Obama new power for automatic debt limit increase.”
Here’s Rich Lowry: “It’s beginning to get out on the Hill. It’s complicated, but here is the gist as I understand it: Congress authorizes in legislation the president to submit a request for an increase in the debt limit in three tranches over the next year or so, with corresponding proposals for spending cuts; when the president submits his request, Congress immediately considers a resolution of disapproval; if the resolution passes, the president can veto it and–assuming his veto is subsequently upheld–he gets the increase in the debt limit. Got it? More later…”
Here’s the Reuters bulletin.
Here’s WaPo blogger Jennifer Rubin’s take.
Here’s Erick Erickson:
In a nutshell, the President would get to raise the debt ceiling three times in the next year at several billion bucks a pop without making any spending cuts unless two-thirds of both houses of Congress disagree. In his press conference, McConnell says he would not give the President “unilateral authority to make spending cuts on his own,” but this plan would allow the President to raise the debt ceiling pretty much automatically.As the Politico notes,
Senate Republicans are actively pursuing a new plan under which the debt ceiling would grow in three increments over the remainder of this Congress unless lawmakers approve a veto-proof resolution of disapproval.
In effect lawmakers would be surrendering the very power of approval that the GOP has used to force the debt crisis now. But by taking the disapproval route, Republicans can shift the onus more onto the White House and Democrats since a two-thirds majority will be needed to stop any increase that President Barack Obama requests.
Yes, instead of putting the burden on the White House, McConnell would make it damn near impossible to block a debt ceiling increase. We’ve seen this before. The House once had the Gephardt rule that required the debt ceiling vote be attached to a more popular measure so members of Congress could escape a tough vote.
Consequently, the debt ceiling has gone up to $14 trillion without Congress ever having to make a tough choice about debt.
And now Mitch McConnell wants to make it even easier by allowing Congress to go through a dog and pony show of feigned cuts that never get cut while allowing escalation of our national debt. So much for accusing Barack Obama of smoke and mirrors.
We exasperated grass-roots conservatives don’t call the GOP the Stupid Party for nothing.
Three letters come to mind:
Jamie Dupree reports: “At a news conference, McConnell labeled this new automatic debt limit increase plan a ‘last choice option.'” And: “We think it’s extremely important that the country reassure the markets that default is not an option.”
Commenter Corkie: “Again, failing to raise the debt ceiling does NOT equal default! This statement alone is worth a head-banging-against-the-wall.”
In any case: Why is facing the consequences of government profligacy not an option?
Why is putting an end to government spending without end not an option?
Politicians seeking to “reassure markets” and protect defaulters gave us TARP and AIG and Fannie Mae bailouts.
When is enough enough?