Tag Archives: Debt Ceiling

(Update) More government shutdown theatrics this week?

These people are just not serious about governing responsibly. For them, everything is about producing propaganda grist for the mighty Wurlitzer of the right-wing noise machine.

Back in 2011 when the Tea-Publicans were holding the government hostage over a manufactured federal debt ceiling “fiscal cliff crisis” — something the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution requires Congress to increase to prevent the U.S. from defaulting on its debts — the sequestration spending caps idea was born to resolve this manufactured “crisis.”

Spending cuts would apply to mandatory and discretionary spending in the years 2013 to 2021 and be in an amount equal to the difference between $1.2 trillion and the amount of deficit reduction enacted from the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. These spending caps would equally affect security and non-security programs. The automatic sequester provisions would go into effect in 2013 if Congress failed to produce a deficit reduction bill with at least $1.2 trillion in cuts.

At the time, everyone said Congress would never agree to the automatic sequestration caps, and yet, it became law, the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congress, of course, failed to do its job and we have been living under the automatic sequestration spending caps since 2013.

There have been repeated attempts to remove the sequestration spending caps on defense spending (while leaving the sequestration spending caps in place on domestic spending). Congress has agreed to several waivers of the spending caps over the years.

This long-running Kabuki theater is now central to the budget dispute in Congress to avoid a government shutdown at midnight on February 8.

The GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, the “zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” is siding with defense hawks and the radicals of the House GOP Freedom Caucus to bust the sequestration spending caps on defense spending while leaving the sequestration spending caps in place on domestic spending — a move Democrats oppose.

The point of this evil GOP bastard plan is to either roll weak-kneed Senate Democrats or to force them to vote against the House GOP spending plan and to shut down the government, so Tea-Publicans can beat their breasts and claim Democrats do not support our military and national defense. Or as President Trump trotted out yesterday, to assert they are “un-American” and to accuse them of “treason.”
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‘Trumpcare’ failure, and more to follow

Well resisters, last night two unlikely Tea-Publicans, Mike Lee (UT) and Jerry Moran (KS), announced their opposition to evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell’s abominable Senate bill to repeal and replace “Obamacare” with  a mean-spirited “Trumpcare.” Health Care Overhaul Collapses as Two Republican Senators Defect:

Two more Republican senators declared on Monday night that they would oppose the Senate Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, killing, for now, a seven-year-old promise to overturn President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.

The announcement by the senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas, left their leaders at least two votes short of the number needed to begin debate on their bill to dismantle the health law. Two other Republican senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine, had already said they would not support a procedural step to begin debate.

With four solid votes against the bill, Republican leaders now have two options.

They can try to rewrite it in a way that can secure 50 Republican votes, a seeming impossibility at this point, given the complaints by the defecting senators. Or they can work with Democrats on a narrower measure to fix the flaws in the Affordable Care Act that both parties acknowledge.

WRONG! Tea-Publicans will do what they always do: retaliate out of spite and vindictiveness, and continue to sabotage “Obamacare”:

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, conceded Monday night that “the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” He outlined plans to vote now on a measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with it taking effect later. That has almost no chance to pass, however, since it could leave millions without insurance and leave insurance markets in turmoil.

A “clean” repeal effort was rejected in January for a “repeal and replace” plan because Tea-Publicans did not have the votes for a clean repeal then; it is far less likely they have the votes now. (Of course, our Rep. Martha McSally is at the ready to lead the GOP over the insanity cliff with her battle cry of “Let’s get this fucking thing done!“)

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Shutdown Watch: spending agreement is a win for Democrats – see you in September (updated)

The Hill reports today, Congress strikes deal on funding for 2017 to avoid shutdown:

Congressional negotiators have signed off on a deal to fund the government through September, avoiding a shutdown of federal agencies over a dispute on President Trump’s border wall and other issues, according to two senior congressional aides.

The legislation does not provide funding for construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border or eliminate money for so-called sanctuary cities that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration law, according to a summary provided by a senior congressional aide.

Nor does it cut funding for Planned Parenthood.

These are major victories for Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who threatened to block the bill over such poison-pill riders.

[F]or Republicans, the measure provides $1.5 billion for border security and $15 billion in additional defense funding — though it’s short the $30 billion in supplemental military funding Trump requested in his budget blueprint.

The defense increase is matched by a boost to non-defense programs for a total of $30 billion in additional funding over the sequester level set by a previous budget deal. None of Trump’s $18 billion in non-defense cuts were included.

The National Institutes of Health, a priority of Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike, will see a $2 billion funding increase, to give it $34 billion total.

The deal protects 99 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget and increases clean energy and science funding in spite of Trump’s calls to cut all three priorities.

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Donald Trump is The Joker: default on the U.S. debt and ‘watch the world burn’

TheJoker

Donald Trump gave an extraordinary interview to CNBC last week. Donald Trump’s Idea to Cut National Debt: Creditors to Accept Less:

One day after assuring Americans he is not running for president “to make things unstable for the country,” the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, said in a television interview Thursday that he might seek to reduce the national debt by persuading creditors to accept something less than full payment.

Asked whether the United States needed to pay its debts in full, or whether he could negotiate a partial repayment, Mr. Trump told the cable network CNBC, “I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal.”

He added, “And if the economy was good, it was good. So, therefore, you can’t lose.”

Such remarks by a major presidential candidate have no modern precedent.

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President Obama’s parting gift to Speaker Boehner – a ‘grand bargain’ to clean out the barn?

Barn“I don’t want to leave my successor a dirty barn,” John Boehner, the soon-to-depart Speaker of the House, told CBS News’ John Dickerson in September. “I want to clean the barn up a little bit before the next person gets there.” Mr. Boehner, Clean Up This Barn.

Word comes today that there may indeed be a “grand bargain” between the White House and Congressional leaders to “clean the barn” out of Tea-Publican hostage taking threats to shut down the federal government.

Roll Call reports Big Budget Deal Could Clean Out Boehner’s Barn:

Speaker John A. Boehner’s effort to “clean the barn” before leaving Congress is gaining momentum, with the four corners of congressional leadership and the White House hoping for a budget and debt limit deal.

The Republican from Ohio does not want to leave a crisis behind for Ways and Means Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., who is expected to be elected as the new speaker on Thursday.

Under discussion is a deal that would suspend limits on the nation’s borrowing authority until March 2017, along with two years worth of partial relief from the budget caps known as sequestration. The package would also address the Medicare Part B issue, aimed at protecting millions of seniors from significant increases to their health insurance premiums and deductibles.

An agreement could be announced as early as Monday evening, according to two familiar with the talks. The House Republican Conference scheduled a meeting for 6 p.m. to discuss the “October agenda,” according to a GOP aide.

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Coming Soon! GOP federal debt ceiling Kabuki theater

The Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, took the country to the brink of defaulting on the national debt in 2011, resulting in a downgrade of the credit of the U.S. for the first time in our history. Now he is threatening to take the country hostage to the extortion ransom demands of the GOP again. Steve Benen reports, McConnell readies his debt-ceiling ransom note:

Debt-celing-hostage-crisis-2-what-now-468The debt-ceiling deadline has not yet arrived, but it looms on the horizon. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told Congress recently that lawmakers have until Nov. 5 — three weeks from tomorrow — to extend the nation’s debt limit and prevent a default that would likely crash the economy. [Note: As of today, the Treasury moves up debt limit deadline to Nov. 3.]

President Obama has already made clear that he will not negotiate with economic terrorists those threatening to hurt Americans on purpose, just as he won’t make any demands of his own — Congress needs to protect the full faith and credit of the United States, and when it does, the president will put his signature on the clean debt-ceiling increase.

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