Debt ceiling

Politics

The Invulnerability of Government Spending

By 2.13.14

The latest budget battle in Washington has Democrats and Republicans once again at loggerheads. Democrats think Republicans should get nothing in return for another debt ceiling increase. Republicans think they should get less than nothing.

The House GOP leadership has longed to stop the gory budget showdowns of the past few years. That means giving up on further cuts and passing a clean debt ceiling increase; a cringeworthy proposal, but one that should have attained enough Democrat and establishment Republican support to pass the House. Instead, the GOP found a creative way to make it worse. Republicans attached a provision to the debt ceiling increase that would cancel $6 billion worth of savings from military pension reforms in the Ryan-Murray budget. This would be offset by an extension of sequestration on Medicare spending 10 years from now.

Senate Democrats initially balked, and introduced another bill that would have stricken the pension reforms without any offsets whatsoever. But as another snowstorm bore down on Washington, the Senate caved yesterday and approved the original House legislation.

Send to Kindle

Senate Passes GOP’s Forfeiture of the Debt Ceiling

By on 2.12.14 | 3:43PM

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner held a vote yesterday for a no-strings-attached debt ceiling hike. What’s worse? It passed. What’s the very worst? The Senate just passed the bill as well.

After all the threats of default, after the government shut down, after all the cries for smaller government and holding officials accountable for how they spend taxpayer dollars, after all the hype and the battles – just like that – the debt ceiling rises cleanly, quickly, and without any stipulations.

The GOP forfeited.

Send to Kindle

Debt Ceiling: Let’s Make a Deal?

By on 7.31.11 | 10:56AM

News broke late Saturday night that Republican congressional leaders had reached a tentative deal with the White House on a measure to increase the federal debt ceiling. It's one of those neither-fish-nor-fowl compromises that is sure to leave much unhappiness among both Democrats and Republicans.

Send to Kindle

Debt-Ceiling Kabuki: Harry Reid Filibusters Himself?

By on 7.30.11 | 8:38PM

Remember that before House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) ever brought his own debt-ceiling bill up for a vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) got the signatures of all 53 Democrat senators on a letter vowing their opposition to the Boehner bill.

So earlier today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) came out with a letter signed by 43 Republican senators expressing their opposition to Reid's own debt-ceiling bill. Reid then summoned the Senate and -- live on C-SPAN2 -- delivered a self-pitying speech described by Michelle Malkin:

Send to Kindle

Bill Clinton on debt limit: I’d “force the courts to stop me”

By on 7.19.11 | 5:50AM

Bill Clinton, Peronist or pragmatist? From Politico's Morning Money:

FLASH: CLINTON WOULD INVOKE THE 14TH - Former President Bill Clinton told National Memo's Joe Conason last night that if he were still in office and all else failed he would invoke the 14th Amendment and raise the nation's debt ceiling unilaterally to avoid default and then "force the courts to stop me." http://bit.ly/p0R6Ug

His reasoning? "I think the Constitution is clear and I think this idea that the Congress gets to vote twice on whether to pay for [expenditures] it has appropriated is crazy." This echoes a view from the New Republic which patly suggests that once Congress decides to spend the money, the president's duty is merely to borrow.

Send to Kindle