Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The Bipartisan Policy Center is projecting the federal debt ceiling will be reached between October 18 and November 5.
So on Tuesday, the House GOP leadership rolled out its latest hostage demands. Things did not go as planned, as the far-right crazies turned on the House GOP leadership for not being frothing at the mouth rabid crazy enough. Steve Benen writes, Boehner's shutdown-avoidance plan off to a rough start:
In just two weeks, the federal government will exhaust its current
budget and shut down unless Congress approves a temporary spending
measure called a "continuing resolution." The congressional Republican
leadership really hopes to avoid a government shutdown, fearing
it would be politically disastrous, and hopes to sell GOP lawmakers on
an alternative scheme.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) unveiled a convoluted plan
to his members yesterday: the House would approve a spending measure,
including the ridiculous sequestration cuts, to prevent a shutdown.
Tacked on would be the proposal the far-right demands — defunding the
Affordable Care Act — as an easily removed appendage. The Senate would
then remove the appendage, pass the continuing resolution, and Congress
could start focusing on the debt-ceiling crisis.
In other words,
it'd be a nice little example of political theater. Republicans would
get neither the shutdown nor the Obamacare defunding they want, but they
could go through the motions in such a way as to make right-wing egos
The plan landed yesterday with a thud.
House Republican leaders were struggling Tuesday to sell skeptical
conservatives on their plan to force the Senate to vote on defunding
ObamaCare before enacting a critical measure to keep the government
Separately, some conservative lawmakers at a Tea Party rally outside
the Capitol denounced the idea as a "gimmick" that stopped short of
defunding President Obama's healthcare law.
The complaint has the benefit of being true — Boehner's plan is a gimmick. But in this case, it's a gimmick the House GOP leadership will beg its members to vote for.
This is likely to be tricky, though the Speaker and his leadership team have a new talking point.
For many Republican lawmakers, the theater is unsatisfying. They
don't want to pretend to defund the federal health care law; they want
to actually defund the health care law. If they vote for Boehner's budget plan, it's a copout.
leaders could reach out to Democrats to help pass the spending measure
and avoid the shutdown, but Dems aren't going for this plan, either —
not only do they have no intention of supporting a continuing resolution
that pretends to defund the Affordable Care Act, but Democrats also
reject the sequestration-level spending cuts that are hurting the
country by design.
And so Boehner is, for now, telling his members
that if they back him up on the stopgap spending bill this month, he'll
tell the White House that Democrats have to defund Obamacare or
Republicans won't raise the debt ceiling next month.
The GOP would
effectively be trading one hostage for another, though the latter would
cause a much more painful crisis and risk far more harm to the United
States and the world.
So how's this plan working out for the "Worst. Speaker. Ever."? Sahil Kapur writes, Conservatives Force GOP To Delay Obamacare Gambit :
Republicans are losing the battle with ultraconservatives over defunding Obamacare — for now.
House GOP leaders decided Wednesday to postpone consideration of their plan to defund Obamacare,
which would have called for a Senate vote on defunding the law but also
would have stopped short of threatening a government shutdown over the
GOP leaders’ original strategy
was to approve the rule in committee Wednesday for a full House vote on
Thursday. But with a mutiny on their right flank and no help from
Democrats, they have now concluded that they lack the votes to pass the
plan and have put it off. The new strategy, aides say, is to take more
time to build support and bring up the measure next week.
* * *
Conservative groups were furious
Tuesday when the plan was unveiled and immediately organized against
it, demanding that Republicans go the distance and threaten a government
shutdown if Democrats don’t blink. FreedomWorks, Club For Growth and
Heritage Action vowed to punish lawmakers who support the GOP proposal.
Republican leaders, on the other hand, recognize they’d probably be
blamed for a shutdown and don’t want to risk it.
* * *
Republican House leaders are in an extraordinarily difficult position.
Given sweeping Democratic opposition, they have few votes to spare, and
are caught between an all-out assault from conservative groups and their
responsibility to keep the government running.
* * *
If the plan eventually crashes, like prior Republican proposals
facing conservative opposition, it would empower Democrats to have a
greater say over the spending levels in the continuing resolution that
will fund the federal government after Sept. 30. That is where failure
of this plan could hurt the GOP most.
Democrats were immediately skeptical Tuesday that GOP leaders could
get the plan through the chamber. A House Democratic leadership said
Wednesday that Democrats would be “very unified” against the plan. “It
seems the GOP may have a tough road ahead,” quipped a second Democratic
“Once again, House Republicans are in disarray, unable to govern as a
result of division and dysfunction,” said House Minority Whip Steny
Hoyer (D-MD). “Even when promising a continuation of their policy of
sequester and another defunding of the Affordable Care Act — gifts to
the extreme wing of their party — Republicans lacked sufficient support
and were unable to bring their bill to the Floor. Their
my-way-or-the-highway strategy continues to fail because they are deeply
divided and continue to balk at the prospect of working across the
aisle to achieve results.”
The last time the GOP used the federal debt ceiling as a hostage, it resulted in a downgrade of the United States' credit rating specifically because of the actions of the Tea-Publican Congress. S&P
| United States of America Long-Term Rating Lowered To 'AA+' Due To
Political Risks, Rising Debt Burden; Outlook Negative:
The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we
see as America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less
effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The
statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political
bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this
year's wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between
political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge,
and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the
comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had
envisaged until quite recently…
As Ezra Klein recently explained, "Trading a government shutdown for a debt-ceiling breach is like trading the flu for septic shock … Republicans will effectively be going to the White House and saying,
'Delay the health-care law or we will single-handedly cause an
unprecedented and unnecessary global financial crisis that everyone will
clearly and correctly blame on us, destroying our party for years to
come.' … This is not a safe way to govern the country."
How long are the American people going to tolerate these economic terrorists taking this country hostage to their insane demands and wrecking the U.S. and world economies? Haven't they done enough damage?